N.Ireland leader ousted as London lawmaker

7th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson was voted out as a lawmaker in the British parliament in London on Friday following a scandal involving him and his wife.

"Of course, there will be many people who will... draw their own conclusion about my defeat," a tearful-looking Robinson said after being defeated in his East Belfast constituency.

He was beaten by Naomi Long, the Lord Mayor of Belfast who was standing as a candidate for the cross-community Alliance party.

Despite losing his seat in the House of Commons in London, Robinson remains in office in Northern Ireland because he is also a lawmaker in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

"I have a job to do and I have a job to complete... I will continue to carry out that important work," said Robinson, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, an election count in Londonderry, northwest of Belfast, was suspended due to a bomb alert after a car was abandoned in the car park of the leisure centre where counting was taking place.

Robinson's loss is a major upset for him and the DUP -- he had held the seat for more than 30 years.

He stood aside temporarily as Northern Ireland leader in January after a sex and cash scandal involving his wife, Iris, also a politician.

She admitted having an affair with a teenager, 19-year-old Kirk McCambley, and was also accused in a BBC investigation of securing 50,000 pounds (75,000 dollars, 60,000 euros) from developers to help him in a business venture.

Her husband was dragged into the scandal when the broadcaster alleged he was aware of the deal. The first minister denied any knowledge of the deal, which he would have had to report to parliamentary authorities.

An internal investigation cleared Robinson of any wrongdoing over the scandal and he stepped back into his role as Northern Ireland first minister in February.

© 2010 AFP

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