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Rivals unimpressed by ‘ruling’ clearing Peter Robinson of breaching Ministerial Codes

Questions surrounding Peter Robinson’s conduct over his wife’s financial dealings will not go away despite legal opinion clearing him of breaching Ministerial Codes, Northern Ireland’s political parties said last night.

Sinn Fein, the SDLP, the Alliance party, the Ulster Unionists and the TUV criticised the DUP leader’s decision to announce he had been cleared of any wrong-doing, saying the legal advice he received was not the product of an official investigation.

Late yesterday evening, the DUP leader announced he had informed Assembly Speaker Willie Hay that he would resume his post as First Minister after being told by the Departmental Solicitor's Office from Senior Crown Counsel that he was not in breach of any codes. Both the TUV and the UUP have called for QC Paul Maguire’s legal opinion to be “published in full”.

“There should be publication of counsel’s opinion but there should also be publication of the instructions given to counsel on which it was based and all documentation

that was furnished to him,” TUV leader Jim Allister told the Belfast Telegraph last night.

“This is a clearance only on the very narrow issue over whether there was a breach of the Ministerial Code. It’s not the product of an investigation. It’s the product of counsel’s opinion.”

In a statement, a spokesman from the UUP added: “Mr Robinson has indicated that he has returned to office because his legal advice indicates that he has done nothing wrong. It would clearly be in the public interest for this legal opinion to be published in full.”

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