Peter David Robinson (born 29 December 1948) is a British politician who has been the First Minister of Northern Ireland and Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party since 2008. He has been actively involved in Northern Irish politics since 1970 when he became a founding member of the DUP along with Ian Paisley.
Robinson served as Paisley’s Parliamentary Assistant at Westminster prior to assuming the role of the General Secretary of the DUP in 1975, a position which he held until 1979 and which afforded him the opportunity to exert unprecedented influence within the fledgling unionist party. In 1977, Robinson was elected as a councillor for the Castlereagh Borough Council in Dundonald, and in 1979, he became the youngest-serving Member of Parliament (MP) when he was narrowly elected for Belfast East. He held this seat until being narrowly defeated in 2010, making him the longest-serving MP for any constituency in Belfast since the 1800 Act of Union.
In 1980, Robinson was elected as the Deputy Leader of the DUP. Following the re-establishment of devolved government in Northern Ireland as a result of the Good Friday Agreement, Robinson was elected in 1998 as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Belfast East. Robinson subsequently served as Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Finance and Personnel in the Northern Ireland Executive.
Robinson was elected unopposed to succeed Ian Paisley as the Leader of the DUP on 15 April 2008, and was subsequently confirmed as First Minister of Northern Ireland on 5 June 2008.
In January 2010, following a scandal involving his wife Iris and raising allegations regarding their financial affairs, Robinson temporarily handed over his duties as First Minister to Arlene Foster under the terms of the Northern Ireland Act 2006. Following a police investigation, which recommended that Robinson should not be prosecuted following allegations made by the BBC in relation to the scandal, he resumed his duties as First Minister in time to complete the devolution of policing and justice powers to the Stormont Executive on 5 February 2010.
June 4, 2010