Belfast Telegraph

Iris Robinson affair: 'Serious breach' over Lock Keeper's Inn payments, report finds

Iris Robinson has been found to have committed a serious breach of the Assembly Code of Conduct, a long-awaited report has revealed.

The DUP leader's wife accepted £50,000 from two property developers and passed it on to her youthful lover to set up his Lock Keeper's Inn business in Belfast in summer 2008.

Kirk McCambley later paid her £5,000, a Stormont report said.

The allegations were investigated by the Assembly Commissioner for Standards who concluded that the former MLA had seriously breached Assembly rules by failing to register her interest in three payments made in 2008.

The Committee agreed with the Commissioner’s finding that this was the sole breach of the Code of Conduct that had occurred and that it was a serious breach.

Peter Robinson was accused following a BBC Spotlight programme of contravening the code by failing to tell the proper authorities that his wife had broken the law.

But the First Minister was been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Assembly standards commissioner Douglas Bain said: "I am satisfied that none of the allegations made in that programme against Mr Peter Robinson could, even if established as true, constitute a breach of either the 1999 or the 2009 code of conduct."

The devolved assembly's Standards and Privileges Committee of public representatives accepted the findings.

In a statement the DUP said they welcomed the report.

It said: "A police investigation found no grounds to investigate Mr Robinson, the House of Commons Standards Commissioner found no grounds to investigate Mr Robinson and both the Departmental Solicitor and Mr Paul Maguire QC provided opinions that concluded Mr Robinson did not breach the Ministerial Code, the Ministerial Code of Conduct, the pledge of office or the seven principles of public life.

In 2010 there were those who called for Peter’s resignation and the BBC peddled allegations of 'corruption at the heart of government'. Those people should today hang their heads in shame and the BBC should apologise for its malicious comments."

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