The whereabouts of Iris Robinson remained a mystery last night as her First Minister husband insisted there are questions only she can answer.
Peter Robinson told the Belfast Telegraph his wife is being treated by a psychiatrist and incapable of providing coherent replies because of her mental state.
He revealed both he and Mrs Robinson’s solicitor have been unable to obtain reliable responses from her since the Spotlight programme was broadcast.
“Both her solicitor and I have been unable to get any coherent responses. I don’t like doing this because you are dealing with somebodys’ mental illness, but Iris has spent over the past year many weeks in a clinic for treatment,” the DUP leader said.
“She is presently receiving treatment from a psychiatrist and the solicitor was unable to take instructions from her because of her illness.”
Given that the programme contained information Mr Robinson says he was previously unaware of, he went on: “Clearly there are issues that she has to deal with.”
As Ulster Unionists and Alliance demanded Mrs Robinson’s immediate resignation, it was becoming clear she may quit her Strangford seat in the Assembly as early as next week.
There were also unconfirmed reports that the troubled MP is planning a holiday next week to a ski resort in the French alps. It has also been suggested she is at a Priory-style clinic in England.