Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

MP Iris Robinson feathered her nest with £1,600 bed . . . and billed us

Iris Robinson
Iris Robinson
Kirk McCambley was aged 19 when he had an affair with Iris Robinson

It is not the first time DUP MP Iris Robinson’s boudoir has been a hotbed of controversy.





What happened inside — or outside — her marital bedroom hit the headlines last month after a fling with a 19-year-old man.

Now, after the Sir Thomas Legg ruling on MPs’ expenses, it is the price of furniture which adorned the bedroom in her London flat — and the public money that paid for it that has captured headlines.

A receipt from Mrs Robinson’s expenses revealed that the wife of the First Minister Peter Robinson splashed out more than £1,600 of taxpayers’ money on a |luxury bed.

The then MP for Strangford placed the order on January 10, 2006.

Much of the receipt is blackened out, so the exact type of bed — Divan, adjustable, sofa bed, water bed or even bunk, is not exactly clear.

The colour/fabric and tension of the bed is not revealed either.

What it does say, however, is that it was a ‘pocket superb 1800’ mattress, had four drawers and it cost £1,449.95.

But the claim also included a Rebecca style headboard — a curvaceous design in either antique brass or antique nickel |effect — priced at £169.95.

An additional £25 delivery charge was also included in the overall claim.

The total came to £1,644.90, which was an overspend of £544.90 according to Sir Thomas.

Iris’ extravagant tastes do not come as a surprise to those who have followed the career of the former first lady of Ulster |politics.

Indeed, in previous interviews it has been reported that the Robinsons' bedroom in Castlereagh boasts a massive four poster Gothic bed with heart-shaped cushions.

Iris and husband Peter have been dubbed ‘Swish Family Robinson’ due to the various salaries and expenses they were |receiving and her extravagant and opulent tastes in decor.

Their white villa just outside east Belfast had chandeliers in every room. A local artist painted wall frescos, a Tuscan landscape in the bathroom, an African one in the porch. But as Mrs Robinson enjoyed a good night’s sleep in a bed paid for by the public the Belfast Telegraph has been finding out what the disgraced MP could have bought at a cheaper price.

For that price, we calculated that she could have purchased at least 28 basic bedframes and sprung mattresses from Ikea. (£29 each).

Or, to be frugal and incorporate sleeping and sitting— eight sofa beds from Dreams (chocolate and silver colour), which cost £199.

Or for those who want to relive their youth, what about a bunk bed?

The Robinsons could have packed 11 Ikea bunk bed frames, priced at £149 each, into their home.

But for £1,600, their four-poster bed could be replaced by two luxury adjustable beds with memory foam each costing £799.

Or Mrs Robinson could have bought a luxury ‘Rest Assured Sanctuary 2600 Memory Super Kingsize Divan’ at Argos for £1,634.89.

l All prices correct according to websites.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz