Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Iris Robinson to resign as an MLA on Monday

The formal resignation of Iris Robinson from the Assembly is set to be announced on Monday.

Yesterday at Westminster the Treasury also announced that the scandal- hit politician had formally announced her resignation as MP for Strangford.

It is understood that her resignation letter has been received and accepted by the Assembly.

Mrs Robinson will also be standing down from Castlereagh Borough Council. Her resignation was announced by the council’s acting chief executive.

Her political career became untenable after it emerged she had secured £50,000 from two property developers to finance her teenage lover’s cafe. She failed to declare her financial interest in the venture even though she was a member of the council which awarded the tender to Kirk McCambley.

At the weekend the DUP said Mrs Robinson was leaving the party and stepping down as an MP and MLA.

Party sources have indicated they will not be seeking a Westminster by-election to replace Mrs Robinson before the upcoming General Election.

Yesterday, the Treasury announced she been appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern — the archaic process undertaken to |resign from the House of Commons. MPs are not permitted simply to resign their seat, a legal anomaly dating back to a resolution of the House of Commons in March 1624.

Death, disqualification and expulsion are the only means by which a member's seat may be vacated during the lifetime of a Parliament.

Therefore an MP wishing to resign has to go through the process of applying for a paid office of the Crown, which disqualifies him or her from holding a seat in the Commons.

Her annual salary from the Commons had been £64,766, with a further £14,367 paid out by the Assembly each year, plus £9,500 from Castlereagh council.

That represented an annual total of £88,633 — some £242 per day.

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