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Statement by Reg Empey and Michael McGimpsey (UUP) About Financial Allegations Involving Peter Robinson (DUP), (2 April 2010)

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Text: Reg Empey & Michael McGimpsey... Page compiled: Martin Melaugh

Statement by Reg Empey and Michael McGimpsey (UUP) About Financial Allegations Involving First Minster Peter Robinson (DUP) Raised by the BBC, (2 April 2010)


Ulster Unionist MLAs Sir Reg Empey and Michael McGimpsey have commented on recent allegations made against the First Minister, Peter Robinson. In a statement the UUP Ministers called for the First Minister to step aside until legal advice has been sought following these latest allegations.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Sir Reg Empey said: "The allegations that have been broadcast by the BBC in recent days regarding the financial affairs of the First Minister are extremely serious. The latest report from the BBC follows further allegations that have been made by a number of media outlets in recent weeks against the First Minister.

"Frankly, the allegations against the First Minister are severely tarnishing the reputation of the Executive. Confidence in our political processes and in our institutions is being eroded.

"Such a situation cannot be allowed to continue. As First Minister and leader of the Executive, there is now an onus on Peter Robinson to provide immediate answers.

"Following the BBC Spotlight programme in early January, the First Minister sought legal advice and temporarily stepped aside until he had received and considered this advice. Regrettably this advice was not published.

"We are therefore calling for the First Minister to publish the legal advice immediately which he already holds so that there is complete transparency. We believe that the First Minister should also seek further independent legal advice following the most recent allegations. This advice must also be published. In the interim period the First Minister should step aside voluntarily in the same manner as he did in January."

The Minister for Health, Michael McGimpsey, continued: "We note that investigations are already underway into the actions of the First Minister at Westminster and at Stormont. At a time when these investigations are ongoing, it really beggars belief that some people are intent on forging ahead with the devolution of Policing and Justice rather than clearing their name.

"The allegation that a public representative made a substantial financial gain as a result of a significant input by a property developer brings into question the objectivity of that public representative on a range of decisions. It also casts a shadow over the integrity of politics in general.

"This is why the First Minister needs to act immediately so that confidence in our government may be restored.

"The people of Northern Ireland deserve nothing less".


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