Peter Robinson (politician)

Peter Robinson (politician)

Infobox First Minister
honorific-prefix = 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
term_start = 5 June, 2008
term_end =
deputy =Martin McGuinness
predecessor = Ian Paisley
successor = Incumbent
office2 = Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party
successor2 = Incumbent
term_start2 = 31 May 2008
term_end2 =
predecessor2 = Ian Paisley
office3 = Minister of Finance and Personnel
term_start3 = 8 May 2007
term_end3 = 5 June, 2008
predecessor3 = Sean Farren
successor3 = Nigel Dodds
office4 = Minister for Regional Development
term_start4 = 29 November 1999
term_end4 =27 July 2000
predecessor4 = Newly created position
successor4 = Gregory Campbell
office5 = Minister for Regional Development
term_start5 = 24 October 2001
term_end5 = 11 October 2002
predecessor5 = Gregory Campbell
successor5 = Conor Murphy
office 6 = First Minister of Northern Ireland
term_start6 = 5 June 2008
term_end6 = Incumbent
predecessor6 = Ian Paisley
successor6 = Incumbent
constituency_MP6 = Belfast East
majority6 = 5877 (19%)
term_start6 = 3 May 1979
term_end6 =
predecessor6 = William Craig
successor6 = Incumbent
constituency_AM7= Belfast East
assembly7 = Northern Ireland
term_start7 = 25 June 1998
term_end7 =
birth_date = Birth date and age|1948|12|29|df=yes
birth_place = Belfast, Northern Ireland
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = British
party = Democratic Unionist Party
otherparty =
spouse = Iris Collins
relations =
children = Jonathan, Gareth and Rebekah
residence =
alma_mater = Belfast Metropolitan College
occupation = Politician
profession = Estate agent
religion = Pentecostal

website = []
footnotes =

Peter David Robinson (born 29 December 1948) is a Northern Irish politician and 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 [ 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 Belfast constituency 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. [ [ Belfast Telegraph] ] ; and subsequently became First Minister on 5 June 2008 following the resignation of First Minister Ian Paisley on 31 May 2008. [ "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

Robinson attended Cregagh Primary School, a primary school in Belfast.

Annadale Grammar School

Robinson was educated at Annadale Grammar School (now Wellington College Belfast), a single-sex grammar school in Belfast.

Castlereagh College

Robinson studied at Castlereagh College (now Castlereagh Campus of Belfast Metropolitan College), a further education college in Belfast.

Between leaving college and beginning his political career he was an estate agent.

Political career

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 Convention on 1 May 1975 in Belfast East. Although he started in fifth place, he failed to get elected being overtaken by his running mate Eileen Paisley. [ ARK] ]


Robinson was elected as a councillor for Castlereagh Borough Council for ward Castlereagh C in the local government elections on 18 May 1977. [ [ ARK] ] . He resigned from the council on 2 July 2007 [ [ "Robinson resigns from Castlereagh"] , BBC News, 2 July 2007. Accessed 2008-06-05.] .

Parliamentary Candidacy

Robinson was selected as DUP candidate for Belfast East in the 1979 general election, a seat which previously had a big Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) majority.

He won the seat with a 19.9% swing to the DUP and a majority of 64, with Alliance Party leader Oliver Napier 928 votes behind, unseating the MP former Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party leader 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 Committee from 1997 to 13 July 2005 [ [ UK Parliament] ] .

Along with UUP and DUP MPs Robinson resigned his seat in protest at the Anglo Irish Agreement on 17 December 1985 and 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 Ireland in Parliament.

Robinson is the longest serving Member of Parliament for any Belfast constituency since the Act of Union in 1800.

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)

Robinson was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for Belfast East on 20 October 1982 where he served as Chairman of the Environment Committee until it was dissolved in 1986.

Northern Ireland Forum

Robinson was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum on 30 May 1996 and served in it until it completed its work in 1998. [ [ ARK] ]

Member of the Legislative Assembly

Robinson was elected MLA for Belfast East in the Northern Ireland Assembly election on 25 June 1998. [ [ ARK] ]

He was re-elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2003 and 2007.

Minister for Regional Development

Robinson was Minister for Regional Development, which has overall responsibility for the Department for Regional Development (DRD), between 29 November 1999 to 27 July 2000 and 24 October 2001 to 11 October 2002.

He was responsible for the introduction of free fares on public transport for the elderly and helped formulate the 25 year Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland and devised the 10 year Regional Transport Strategy.

Minister for Finance and Personnel

Robinson was Minister for Finance and Personnel, which has overall responsibility for the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP), from 8 May 2007 to June 2008.

Leadership of the Democratic Unionist Party

On 4 March 2008, Ian Paisley announced that he would step down as Leader of the DUP and First Minister in May 2008. [ [ BBC News] ] On 14 April 2008, Robinson was nominated unanimously by the DUP MLAs as leader designate with Nigel Dodds as deputy leader designate of the DUP and on 17 April 2008 they were both ratified by the DUP's 120-member executive committee. [ [ BBC News] ] . [ [ BBC News] ] He formally became leader on 31 May 2008.

First Minister

As Leader of the DUP, Robinson was ratified by the Northern Ireland Assembly as First Minister with Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness as 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 punishment and opposed to European integration in the European Union and the Council of Europe. Nonetheless, he is in favour of state intervention and socialist measures which are popular with his largely working class constituents.

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, Christian fundamentalist 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)

According to TheyWorkForYou Robinson 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 top-up fees.
*Voted a mixture of for and against Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
*Voted very strongly for the Iraq war.
*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. [ [ TheyWorkForYou] ]



On 7 August 1986, in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement, Robinson led a group of 500 loyalists into the town of Clontibret in County Monaghan in 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 assembly and was fined IR£17500 in a Drogheda court to escape a prison sentence. As a result, Robinson briefly resigned from the DUP deputy leadership [ [ CAIN] ] . In a subsequent court appearance in Dundalk he again led a large loyalist mob into the town which led to a riot [ [ 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.

Ulster Resistance

In November 1986, he spoke at the Ulster Hall demonstration which launched Ulster Resistance which collaborated with the Ulster Defence Association and Ulster Volunteer Force to procure arms. Robinson was photographed wearing the loyalist paramilitary military uniform at an Ulster Resistance demonstration.


Robinson's character on the BBC's "Folks on the Hill" television programme is portrayed as aggressive and constantly trying to get away from the Ian Paisley-Martin McGuinness so-called "Chuckle Brothers" image when he works with Martin McGuinness. [ [ Folks on the Hill] ] However it does not appear that he will escape a shared nickname as "Brothers Grimm" is catching on. [ [ Belfast Telegraph] ]

Personal life


Peter married Iris Collins on 26 July 1970 and they have three children, Jonathan, Gareth and Rebekah.

Iris Robinson has joined him as a Councillor, a MLA and a MP. They are the first husband and wife ever to represent Northern Ireland constituencies 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." [ [ 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 Ireland are investigating the comments as a hate crime,after receiving over 100 complaints from the public. [ [ BBC Will and Testament | William Crawley's broadcasting diary | Ethics ] ]


Robinson is a Pentecostal Christian and is a member of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Belfast, an Elim Pentecostal megachurch in Belfast.


Robinson supports Chelsea Football Club.

Robinson likes golf and bowling

Robinson keeps and cultures Koi fish, ornamental domesticated varieties of the common carp.

See also

* Democratic Unionist Party
* First Minister and deputy First Minister
* Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister
* Department of Finance and Personnel


External links

* [ DUP]
* [ Peter Robinson]
* [ TheyWorkForYou]
* [,,-4478,00.html Guardian]

Offices held

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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