Iris Robinson | News | Northern Ireland

Will Homophobe Iris Robinson's Affair Bring Down the Government?


Over the last week a scandal involving homophobic Evangelical Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson, about whom I've written many times on Towleroad, has been unfolding. If you haven't read about it yet, here are the main points. Click through the links for much greater elaboration than I can provide.

Robinson In June 2008, Robinson called homosexuality an "abomination" while discussing a homophobic attack on a man in which she also suggested that gays should seek therapy to "turn them around".

The recent scandal began when Robinson announced she was stepping down because of her mental health. Then, there was an admission she had an affair with a 19-year-old named Kirk McCambley to whom she funneled $80,000 in secret loans from property developers to finance his investment in a cafe near Belfast.

Watch a recent report on "The Beginning of the Affair" from the BBC, AFTER THE JUMP...

It appears that the whole affair and scandal has the potential to bring down the entire government, as Robinson's husband is the province’s unionist first minister, the NYT reports:

The revelations come at a critical time, when the mostly Protestant unionists and mostly Catholic republicans are in increasingly bitter discussions about how to put in place one of the last and most difficult pieces of the United States-brokered power-sharing agreement: the transfer of police and justice powers in the province from British officials to the unity government.

The transfer would be a step of historic significance for republicans, who viewed the police as a paramilitary arm of the unionists during the 30 years of “the troubles” that left 3,500 people dead. But it raises alarms among unionists, who fear that their republican partners will not adequately pursue and punish dissident republicans who have rejected the unity government and mounted a deadly campaign of bombings and assassinations in recent months.

Mr. Robinson’s fate is crucial to the future of the agreement; as negotiations have dragged on months beyond the deadline for transferring police power, both sides have become more entrenched in their positions. If Mr. Robinson were forced from power, analysts say, there would be little chance of any new unionist leader risking the wrath of his followers by moving ahead with the deal.

When the leaders of the shared government left for their Christmas break in a state of angry impasse, both sides warned that the shared government, which took office more than two and a half years ago, could collapse early in the new year.

Mccambley In related news, Gay UK activist Peter Tatchell said, "I’m sorry for the pain that Iris Robinson has suffered but she’s a hypocrite. Even now, despite her own adultery, she expresses no regret for her harsh, judgemental moralising against gay people. She is sad and two-faced. It is terrible that Iris Robinson has been driven to attempted suicide and a mental breakdown. I feel very sorry for her. But it is a great pity that this painful experience has not softened her heart towards the suffering of lesbians and gay men. Even now, she expresses no regret for her harsh, judgemental moralising against gay people. Iris seems as unforgiving as ever. She’s still unrepentant about her homophobia.”

And the UK's gay magazine Attitude wants Robinson's then 19-year-old lover on its cover: "Kirk is incredibly hot and we’d love to see him on the cover of Attitude. We think our readers would go as wild for him as Iris obviously did. We’d love for him to get in touch. We’ve put in a few calls to the Lockkeeper’s Inn but no one has answered the phone."

UPDATE: Robinson had affair with 19-year-old's father, and another man as well! "Meanwhile, it emerged this weekend that Iris Robinson also had an affair with 19-year-old Kirk McCambley's father, a butcher who died from cancer. She had another affair with a fellow DUP member in the 1980s which was witnessed by the security forces."

Watch a recent report on "The Beginning of the Affair" from the BBC, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Friggin sweet. Waiting for what's next...

    Posted by: topher | Jan 10, 2010 12:58:51 PM

  2. Good for Tatchell; I could never feel sorry for someone like her.

    Meanwhile, looks like we've got the Irish Levi Johnston in McCambley if he goes for ATTITUDE's offer. (I'm aware the parallels are not exact, since Sarah Palin never had sex with Levi...but still.)

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jan 10, 2010 1:02:44 PM

  3. I don't know why one would expect a change in Robinson's viewpoint just because things haven't gone her way. If I had the sympathy or approval of someone like that, I'd have to reexamine my life. She's let us know who she is: completely self-absorbed and perfectly willing to exploit other people and to jeopardize the safety and welfare of millions to get what she wants. We've declared war for less. Much less.

    Posted by: BILLOFTHEDESSERT | Jan 10, 2010 1:21:38 PM

  4. What a cunt!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 10, 2010 1:29:37 PM

  5. Myabe she's a beard for her husband? That's why she's so homophobic.

    Posted by: James Poppinga | Jan 10, 2010 1:32:49 PM

  6. No hearts will bleed for Iris Robinson.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Jan 10, 2010 1:37:06 PM

  7. Reports today suggest that she has had at least three affairs, not sure if that includes the 19 year old (remember she was 59 at the time - umm...).

    Also, the key pint politically is that she did not declare her financial interest in a business project (the young man's cafe) that needed planning permission (or some such thing) from a local authority of which she was a member ( as well as being an MP in both Westminster and Stormont parliaments). The strong suggestion is that her husband knew and did not report this serious infringment.

    (For your information this type of political corruption/conflict of interest is considered very serious in British political culture and is a potentla criminal offence)

    She and her husband have also been under attack for alleged irregularities over their parliamentray expense claims.

    Frankly this woman (and her husband) are in so much trouble that it could not get much worse - although it will because everyone is now investigating every aspect of their lives...

    The bad thing is that all of this could derail the peace process which has actually delivered a workable peace for the people of the provice as well as for Brits like me and the citizens of Eire.

    One can only hope that the other politicians involved (including the Southern Irish, British and our friends in the US and EU) sort this thing out before serious damage is done.

    As for Mrs Robinson...well I think we should all sit back and enjoy...

    Posted by: archie | Jan 10, 2010 1:45:17 PM

  8. I LOVE THIS STORY!!!!! Thanks for following this, Andy! And yeah...Kirk McCambley is hot, but given that he consorted with a known (and rabid) homophobe, I'm not sure we should be putting him on the covers of our magazines.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 10, 2010 1:51:36 PM

  9. If it does topple the government, more people will die. But if the protestants are going to continue to act like jack booted thugs as they had throughout the troubles, violence will continue to be met with violence.

    She is a hypocritical bottom feeder. Would I hope that this incident would instill compassion for lgbt people in her? That's ridiculous. SHe needs to be unfaithfaul to her husband with a much younger man for that to occur? That doesn't even make sense. She's a broken piece of merchandise; that's why she's toxically homophobic. This just eliminates her credibility as a spokersperson and representative of the "people's morality". Sanctimonious cunt.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 10, 2010 2:10:46 PM

  10. I'm basking in Schadenfreude! Iris Robinson is truly an evil cunt whose karma has come back to bite her. I was an LGBT activist in Belfast when she made her 'homosexuality is an abomination' and 'can be cured' comments and the impact was seismic. Northern ireland is a religiously conservative statelet (particularly on the Protestant side) but it will weather the storm if Peter Robinson resigns. He will simply be replaced by another evangelical wingnut. As others have pointed out it is the financial discrepancies that might bring him down.
    And please no to McCambley in Attitude. How can anyone find McCambley attractive when they know where he has dipped his stick?

    Posted by: Beats | Jan 10, 2010 2:35:41 PM

  11. She's a cold hard predator.

    I wait patiently for more tlrd commenters to chime in considering they were all over that mayor with Breedlove when they guy was not even THAT much older than Breedlove.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jan 10, 2010 2:44:25 PM

  12. I hate the use of the work "cunt" on these posts and around the site. It makes the commentors seem so gynophobic and misogynistic whether they are or not. That's not what I'm about and nor is it what most gay guys that I know are about, hating and rejecting women.
    I don't want to censor people just call it out so we can use the language with consideration. I'm embarrassed if a woman--straight or gay--happened to read the pejorative usage of the word here. It's a real putdown.

    Posted by: ER | Jan 10, 2010 2:49:04 PM

  13. Wow! What a HUGE CUNT!

    Posted by: Marc | Jan 10, 2010 3:14:05 PM

  14. @ ER : I too am disturbed by misogyny in the gay community. I think that gay men who act bothered by the thought/sight of a woman's naked body are immature and beyond ridiculous. I think that gay men who don't like to socialize with women are missing out on half the potential for happiness in friendships. However, sometimes the word 'cunt' is an appropriate way to describe someone. And in describing Iris Robinson, 'cunt' most certainly fits the bill.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 10, 2010 4:12:16 PM

  15. Really, peepee? I'm more disturbed by misogyny in the heterosexual community--you know, the kind that gets women killed three every day united states by a STRAIGHT MAN. Gay men are victims of irrelevant idiot.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 10, 2010 4:26:20 PM

  16. no doubt they engaged in SODOMY.
    btw, in anglo-irish lingo calling someone a "c"-word is like yanks calling someone an azzhole, innit?.

    Posted by: hadassah weinreb | Jan 10, 2010 4:36:36 PM

  17. Is'nt Karma great ? At last we got out own Ted Haggard all to ourselves ! As another guy above says , let's sit back and enjoy.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 10, 2010 4:37:41 PM

  18. Stone her!
    If homosexuality is an abomination, then she should be stoned for adultery.
    The point is times have changed. People don't get stoned anymore, it's about time they drop this "abomination" Bull...

    Posted by: Dwayne | Jan 10, 2010 5:21:24 PM

  19. The Heterosexual "death" style. Multiple sexual partners, suicide, depression, cheating, deceit, bad fashion sense. Is it any wonder they are so unhappy.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Jan 10, 2010 5:23:31 PM

  20. Tottyland has posted a couple of shirtless pics of Kirk, he should keep his shirt on for any mag covers.

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 10, 2010 5:39:42 PM

  21. @Peterparker

    Has it been confirmed that McCambley's business partner, to whom he sold a half share in the cafe to pay Robinson back the money she'd got from developers, is gay?

    Posted by: John | Jan 10, 2010 5:47:05 PM

  22. OK, i now understand her homophobia.

    It seems that her husband is a gay man, because she is having sex with EVERY MAN but him.

    She certainly deserves this scandal.

    Posted by: johnosahon | Jan 10, 2010 5:48:37 PM

  23. And further, relying on depression as an excuse to get out of something if you're irish is like relying on breathing as an excuse to not. It makes no sense.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 10, 2010 6:05:45 PM

  24. @ Hadassah etc.: In "irish lingo" the c-word is much more offensive, and wouldn't normally be used as one might call someone an asshole or perhaps a "fecker" (for a man). Could we simply avoid calling a woman by that word, as it just perpetuates misogyny. You're adults, you can use better vocabulary!

    While this woman, and her husband, are utter homophobes and hypocrites in terms of sexuality and morality, the underlying issue is about the possible misuse of funds/ abuse of power.

    Posted by: Sean R | Jan 10, 2010 6:11:43 PM

  25. Heard a fantastic joke regarding this whole mess:

    What do Iris Robinson and Ikea have in common?

    One bad screw and the whole cabinet falls apart!

    Posted by: gub | Jan 10, 2010 6:17:18 PM

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