September 17th, 2014

Peter Robinson's days are numbered say DUP veterans

Northern IrelandBy Jim McDowell
Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson

DUP insiders are ‘furious’ that official party sources tried to dump our report of a fortnight ago that Peter Robinson is on the run – from within his own party ranks.

On our front page on July 13 we reported that veteran DUP politicians intend to get rid of Robbo by September. 

The DUP propaganda machine went into full swing over the next 48 hours. 

The BBC ran reports from party PR apparatchiks and Robinson lackeys rubbishing our insider information. 

But this week, we have again been approached by sources within the DUP. 

And they are ADAMANT – as our front page reported a fortnight ago – that Robinson will go as early as next September. 

 

Indeed we were told just yesterday that another leading DUP politician, who once held a ministerial portfolio at Stormont, is one of the main men behind the DUP party putsch. 

We had originally reported that the main thrust for Peter getting the push was being orchestrated both in the House of Commons and the House of Lords at Westminster. 

Now we can reveal that the heart of the plot is much closer to home – at Stormont. 

The ex-minister is part of a posse who want no more scandals to rock the DUP which was founded and once run with an iron Red Hand by deposed theocrat the Rev. Ian Paisley, who married both the church and politics so successfully.

But DUP ‘suits’ dumped the clerical dog collar, and wrote RIP over the career of the 82-year-old party founder. 

There is still rancour in DUP ranks about the way that headline-hitting and brutal political coup was perpetrated. 

Some of the ‘old brigade’ of Paisley stalwarts are still simmering about that. 

But it is the growing scroll of scandal – homophobia, Iris Robinson’s explicit sex affair with teenage lover Kirk McCambley, and Peter Robinson’s most recent defence of racist Pastor Jack McConnell – plus the explosive intenal Stormont report on the Robinsons which is still censored, which has prompted the coup on the party leader. 

The ‘suits’ – prime among them Nigel Dodds, whom Baroness Eileen Paisley infamously labelled ‘a cheeky sod’ on the eye-opening and infamous Eamon Mallie TV documentary exposing the downfall of the Paisley party dynasty – have mocked the original Sunday World story with the ‘lame duck’ label being thrown around. 

Mr Dodds should remember how his family nest has been feathered through politics...with him as a Westminster MP and his wife Diane holding down a lucrative post as an MEP in Brussels. 

And we repeat what we reported in our original July 13 report. 

WHEN, not IF, Robinson goes, Nigel Dodds will be a front-runner for the post of DUP party leader. The DUP can’t afford to lose him at the House of Commons with another hung Parliament over in London on the horizon after the next General Election. 

 

And either Arlene Arkinson or Sammy Wilson will be parachuted into the post of First Minister at Stormont even if that means Sammy resigning his seat at Westminster, but handing it over to another pair of ‘safe’ DUP hands. 

Also, we can reveal that Sinn Fein are not going to sign up to the Stormont Bill on welfare reform until they find out what is really happening in DUP ranks. 

This newspaper first revealed that as part of the so-called ‘graduated response’ to the impasse over the Ardoyne Twelfth Orange parade part of that plan would be for the DUP to pull out of the Policing Board, and even the Assembly and Executive at Stormont. 

Unionist politicians met Ulster Secretary of State Teresa Villiers in a summit at Stormont this week wooing her to set up a Commission to rule on the Ardoyne ‘No-Go’ Orange Parades Commission embargo. 

Peter Robinson made a big PR play after that but Sinn Fein, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in particular, dissed that as a ‘one-sided’ non-runner further exacerbating the growing gap between him and Robinson as First Minister. 

Now, a Stormont insider has told us that Sinn Fein will ‘sign up to nothing at Stormont’, until they see if the DUP still are members of, and support, ‘the democratically elected and appointed institutions’.

We understand the deadline for that has been set by Sinn Fein for this September – the same ‘high noon’ deadline the DUP coup plotters have already set for the departure of Peter Robinson. 

And that deadline will also prove whether the DUP ‘suits’, like Nigel Dodds, are really ‘lame duck’ Robinson supporters or whether they are setting up their current DUP party leader for another ‘duck shoot’, just like the ‘suits’ did with their Party founder, the Rev. Ian Paisley. 

Meanwhile, another crisis is hitting the DUP at its highest level.

Both nationalist and other unionist MLAs are still calling for Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland to resign.

The quit call came earlier this week after a high-powered Stormont Committee found he had intentionally misled MLAs. 

Minister McCausland accepted that he ‘inadvertently (and) unintentionally misinformed’ MLAs . He originally claimed he held a meeting with with a glazing association. In fact, it was with the Co. Armagh glazing firm Turkington, which has been a donor to the DUP. 

Nelson has tried to turn a blind eye to calls for his resignation, labelling the Committee conclusions ‘flawed’ and ‘one-sided’.

But TUV boss Jim Allister, who sits on the Committee, said Mr McCausland’s credibility was ‘shot through’ and that he should go. 

The resignation from both sides at Stormont still hangs over Minister McCausland this weekend.