- Peter Robinson (politician)
Infobox First Minister
The Right Honourable
name = Peter Robinson
honorific-suffix = MP MLA
imagesize = 168px
caption = Peter Robinson, June 2008
order = 4th
office = First Minister and deputy First Minister!First Minister of Northern Ireland
5 June, 2008
office2 = Leader of the
Democratic Unionist Party
31 May 2008
Minister of Finance and Personnel
8 May 2007
5 June, 2008
Minister for Regional Development
29 November 1999
27 July 2000
predecessor4 = Newly created position
successor4 = Gregory Campbell
Minister for Regional Development
24 October 2001
11 October 2002
predecessor5 = Gregory Campbell
office 6 =
First Minister of Northern Ireland
5 June 2008
constituency_MP6 = Belfast East
majority6 = 5877 (19%)
3 May 1979
predecessor6 = William Craig
constituency_AM7= Belfast East
assembly7 = Northern Ireland
25 June 1998
birth_date = Birth date and age|1948|12|29|df=yes
Belfast, Northern Ireland
nationality = British
Democratic Unionist Party
spouse = Iris Collins
children = Jonathan, Gareth and Rebekah
Belfast Metropolitan College
religion = Pentecostal
website = [http://www.peterrobinson.org/ www.peterrobinson.org]
Peter David Robinson (born
29 December 1948) is a Northern Irish politicianand is the current First Minister of Northern Ireland, since 5 June 2008, and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party(DUP), since 31 May 2008.
He was previously
Minister for Finance and Personnel[http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/your-government/devolved-government.htm Northern Ireland Executive] ] with overall responsibility for the Department of Finance and Personnel(DFP) in Northern Ireland.
Robinson has been involved in Northern Irish politics for much of his adult life. He was elected in 1979 as Member of Parliament (MP) for the
Belfastconstituency of Belfast East. Following the re-establishment of devolution in Northern Ireland, Robinson was elected in 1998 as Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the Belfast constituency of Belfast East.
He won the DUP leadership election unopposed on
17 April 2008. [ [http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article3611609.ece Belfast Telegraph] ] ; and subsequently became First Minister on 5 June 2008following the resignation of First Minister Ian Paisleyon 31 May 2008. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/northern_ireland/7438306.stm "Robinson is new NI first minister"] , BBC News, 5 June 2008. Accessed 2008-06-05.]
Peter Robinson was born in
Belfast, the son of David McCrea Robinson and his wife Sheila Robinson.
Cregagh Primary School
Cregagh Primary School, a primary schoolin Belfast.
Annadale Grammar School
Robinson was educated at
Annadale Grammar School(now Wellington College Belfast), a single-sex grammar schoolin Belfast.
Robinson studied at
Castlereagh College(now Castlereagh Campusof Belfast Metropolitan College), a further education collegein Belfast.
Between leaving college and beginning his political career he was an
General Secretary of Democratic Unionist Party
Robinson was General Secretary of the DUP between 1975 and 1979.
Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention
Robinson first stood in the election to the
Northern Ireland Constitutional Conventionon 1 May 1975in Belfast East. Although he started in fifth place, he failed to get elected being overtaken by his running mate Eileen Paisley. [http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/ceb.htm ARK] ]
Robinson was elected as a
councillorfor Castlereagh Borough Councilfor ward Castlereagh C in the local government elections on 18 May 1977. [ [http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/73-81lgcastlereagh.htm ARK] ] . He resigned from the council on 2 July2007 [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/northern_ireland/6262316.stm "Robinson resigns from Castlereagh"] , BBC News, 2 July 2007. Accessed 2008-06-05.] .
He won the seat with a 19.9% swing to the DUP and a majority of 64, with Alliance Party leader
Oliver Napier928 votes behind, unseating the MP former Vanguard Progressive Unionist Partyleader and UUP candidate William Craig on 3 May 1979.
Member of Parliament
Robinson does not sit on any committees.
Robinson served on the
Northern Ireland Affairs Committeefrom 1997 to 13 July 2005[ [http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/northern_ireland_affairs/niac_pn_1__05_06_.cfm UK Parliament] ] .
Along with UUP and DUP MPs Robinson resigned his seat in protest at the
Anglo Irish Agreementon 17 December 1985and was re-elected in the subsequent by-election.
He was re-elected to the House of Commons in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2005. In the general election on
June 7, 2001, Robinson’s wife, Iris, joined him in Parliament as MP for Strangford. The Robinsons are the first husband and wife ever to represent Northern Irelandin Parliament.
Deputy Leadership of the Democratic Unionist Party
Robinson's electoral success was marked when he was elected Deputy Leader of the DUP in 1980.
Northern Ireland Assembly (1982)
Northern Ireland Forum
Robinson was elected to the
Northern Ireland Forumon 30 May 1996and served in it until it completed its work in 1998. [ [http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/ff96.htm ARK] ]
Member of the Legislative Assembly
Robinson was elected MLA for Belfast East in the Northern Ireland Assembly election on
25 June 1998. [ [http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/aeb.htm ARK] ]
Minister for Regional Development
Minister for Regional Development, which has overall responsibility for the Department for Regional Development(DRD), between 29 November 1999to 27 July 2000and 24 October 2001to 11 October 2002.
He was responsible for the introduction of free fares on
public transportfor the elderlyand helped formulate the 25 year Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland and devised the 10 year Regional Transport Strategy.
Minister for Finance and Personnel
Leadership of the Democratic Unionist Party
4 March 2008, Ian Paisleyannounced that he would step down as Leader of the DUP and First Minister in May 2008. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7277886.stm BBC News] ] On 14 April 2008, Robinson was nominated unanimously by the DUP MLAs as leader designate with Nigel Doddsas deputy leader designate of the DUP and on 17 April 2008they were both ratified by the DUP's 120-member executive committee. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7345060.stm BBC News] ] . [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7353569.stm BBC News] ] He formally became leader on 31 May 2008.
As Leader of the DUP, Robinson was ratified by the Northern Ireland Assembly as First Minister with
Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinnessas deputy First Minister ( diarchy) on 5 June 2008.
Policies and views
Description of views
Robinson espouses a populist, statist form of Unionism. He is strongly in favour of
capital punishmentand opposed to European integrationin the European Unionand the Council of Europe. Nonetheless, he is in favour of state intervention and socialist measures which are popular with his largely working classconstituents.
While Deputy Leader of the DUP behind Ian Paisley he had a unique character and has an independent style. He is regarded as the leader of the urban, secular, working class wing of the DUP (as opposed to Paisley's rural,
Christianfundamentalist base), and the architect of the DUP's development in recent years of a slick electoral and media machine. He is also seen as a leader of the " realpolitik" tendency within the DUP which acknowledges that it must at some point come to an accommodation with Sinn Féin.
Voted as MP (examples)
TheyWorkForYouRobinson has voted on key issues since 2001 like this:
*Has never voted on a transparent Parliament.
*Voted moderately for introducing a smoking ban.
*Voted moderately against introducing ID cards.
*Voted strongly against introducing foundation hospitals.
*Voted strongly against introducing student
*Voted a mixture of for and against Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
*Voted very strongly for the
*Voted moderately for an investigation into the Iraq war.
*Voted very strongly for replacing Trident.
*Voted strongly against the hunting ban.
*Voted moderately against equal gay rights. [ [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/peter_robinson/belfast_east#topics TheyWorkForYou] ]
7 August 1986, in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement, Robinson led a group of 500 loyalists into the town of Clontibretin County Monaghanin the Republic of Ireland. The loyalists entered the Garda station in the town and physically assaulted two police officers, before holding a quasi-military parade in the town square. Robinson was later arrested. He pleaded guilty to unlawful assemblyand was fined IR£17500 in a Droghedacourt to escape a prison sentence. As a result, Robinson briefly resigned from the DUP deputy leadership [ [http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/chron/ch86.htm#Aug CAIN] ] . In a subsequent court appearance in Dundalkhe again led a large loyalist mob into the town which led to a riot [ [http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/heathwood/static/1986.html CAIN] ] . At his trial the judge described him as "a senior extremist politician." The event earned him the nickname "Peter the Punt" for a while.
In November 1986, he spoke at the
Ulster Halldemonstration which launched Ulster Resistancewhich collaborated with the Ulster Defence Associationand Ulster Volunteer Forceto procure arms. Robinson was photographed wearing the loyalist paramilitary military uniformat an Ulster Resistance demonstration.
Robinson's character on the
BBC's " Folks on the Hill" television programmeis portrayed as aggressive and constantly trying to get away from the Ian Paisley- Martin McGuinnessso-called " Chuckle Brothers" image when he works with Martin McGuinness. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/tv/programmes/folks/index.shtml Folks on the Hill] ] However it does not appear that he will escape a shared nickname as " Brothers Grimm" is catching on. [ [http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/columnists/lindy-mcdowell/article3490714.ece Belfast Telegraph] ]
Peter married Iris Collins on
26 July 1970and they have three children, Jonathan, Gareth and Rebekah. Iris Robinsonhas joined him as a Councillor, a MLA and a MP. They are the first husband and wife ever to represent Northern Irelandconstituencies in Parliament.On 6 June 2008 his wife Iris made comments on the BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show calling for homosexuals to seek psychiatric counselling. During the broadcast she said "I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals - trying to turn away from what they are engaged in". She went on to say "I'm happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman and I have met people who have turned around and become heterosexuals." Mrs Robinson claimed that homosexuality was an "abomination" and it made her feel "sick" and "nauseous". Mrs Robinson defended her views and denied prejudice against homosexuals, saying that "just as a murderer can be redeemed by the blood of Christ, so can a homosexual.... If anyone takes issue, they're taking issue with the word of God." [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7447850.stm BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Attack victim lambasts Robinson ] ] Her claims were rebuffed by Royal College of Psychiatrists, who said that homosexuality was not a psychiatric disorder.
At present, the
Police Service of Northern Irelandare investigating the comments as a hate crime,after receiving over 100 complaints from the public. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/ethics/ BBC Will and Testament | William Crawley's broadcasting diary | Ethics ] ]
Robinson supports Chelsea Football Club.
Robinson keeps and cultures
Koifish, ornamental domesticated varieties of the common carp.
Democratic Unionist Party
First Minister and deputy First Minister
Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister
Department of Finance and Personnel
* [http://dup.org.uk DUP]
* [http://www.peterrobinson.org/default.asp Peter Robinson]
* [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/peter_robinson/belfast_east TheyWorkForYou]
* [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/parliament/0,,-4478,00.html Guardian]
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