Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Robinsons probe still outstanding

Iris Robinson, pictured with her husband and Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson

An investigation into the conduct of the First Minister and his wife has still not been completed two-and-a-half years after it was ordered by the Assembly, it has emerged.

The Assembly Standards and Privileges Committee probe followed a BBC Spotlight report on Iris Robinson’s financial dealings in the wake of the scandal about her relationship with teenage businessman Kirk McCambley.

The investigation — ordered in January 2010 — has been handed to the new Assembly Standards Commissioner Douglas Bain after the interim commissioner, Tom Frawley, stood down without having completed a report.

The BBC reported that a key witness, believed to be Iris Robinson, was too ill to give evidence.

Mr Bain’s appointment has prompted unionist demands that he resigns from his post as a Parades Commissioner.

DUP Minister Nelson McCausland last month wrote on his blog: “Douglas Bain is a good example of a class of people in Northern Ireland who seem to be able to get appointed to a number of public bodies. That is an unhealthy situation.”

And yesterday in the Assembly TUV leader Jim Allister urged Mr Bain to quit the “divisive, controversial” Parades Commission.

But Mr Bain, who holds four public positions, rejected the calls, saying he believed he had enough time to carry out all his roles.

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