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Peter Robinson wins libel damages and apology from Private Eye magazine over baseless claims he was blocked from peerage

By Alan Erwin

Published 09/12/2015

Outgoing First Minister, Peter Robinson
Outgoing First Minister, Peter Robinson

First Minister Peter Robinson is to receive undisclosed libel damages over unfounded allegations linking him to a blocked nomination for a peerage.

The payout forms part of an agreed settlement the DUP leader reached with the owners of satirical magazine Private Eye.

Mr Robinson put Pressdram on notice of his intentions to sue over an article that referred to him and an unsuccessful DUP nomination.

An unidentified individual was reportedly rejected by parliamentary watchdog the House of Lords Appointments Commission (HoLAC).

The complaint has now been resolved with an apology published in Private Eye.

The magazine stated that it had been assured by Mr Robinson that he was not the person nominated, and that his suitability for appointment was never considered.

It added: "Any suggestion that HoLAC had regarded Mr Robinson as unsuitable for appointment because of 'allegations of financial scandal' would be incorrect.

"We are happy to accept that this is the case and to make the position clear. We apologise to Mr Robinson."

The First Minister's lawyer, Paul Tweed of Johnsons Solicitors, confirmed the outcome of the case.

Mr Tweed said: "Pressdram, the owners of Private Eye, have now published a comprehensive retraction and apology which, together with the payment of a significant sum in damages and costs, has totally vindicated my client's position in relation to what were totally unfounded allegations."

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