Iris Robinson may face questions over financial dealings with 19-year-old lover

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Homophobic Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson’s lover was 19 when they had an affair, it has been reported.

A BBC Spotlight programme broadcast tonight (Thursday) named him as Kirk McCambley, who is now 21.

Robinson was 59 during the affair, which she said took place in March 2008.

McCambley runs the the Lock Keepers Inn, a cafe in Lagan Valley regional park in south Belfast. The building in which the cafe is situated was built by Castlereagh Borough Council, on which Robinson sits.

In a news item on the council’s website in September, McCambley said: “When we first told friends about the opportunity, they said we were mad but the National Lottery and the council could see the potential prosperity of the park.”

In a statement yesterday which mentioned a suicide attempt when her husband found out about the affair, Robinson said she had encouraged friends to give her teenage lover money for a financial venture.

McCambley and a former advisor to Robinson were interviewed in the BBC programme.

As more allegations emerge, she may face questions over her financial dealings.

Robinson, who is now 60, said the affair and suicide attempt took place in March 2008.

She said the “brief” liaison began “completely innocently” when she offered support to her lover after he suffered a family death.

She also revealed she had helped the man, who was unnamed at that time, by encouraging friends to give him money for a financial venture.

Earlier today, The Times reported that a BBC investigation into the finances of Robinson and her husband Peter, who is Northern Ireland’s first minister, was what prompted her to reveal details of her affair and attempted suicide.

The “embarrassing” television documentary was to be broadcast with allegations over the first family’s financial affairs.

Robinson’s husband was asked by the BBC if he and his wife had done anything illegal.

Without mentioning his wife, he said: “I am absolutely certain that everything I have done has been done as it should.

“Yesterday I received a letter from an organisation within the BBC. It contained no allegation against me. The BBC asked questions that can be easily answered but there are no allegations that will stand.”

Robinson, a fundamentalist Christian, was labelled a bigot for a series of outbursts last year in which she made offensive comments about homosexuality.

In 2008, she told the Belfast Telegraph that homosexuality was comparable to paedophilia. She also told a radio show that homosexuality was a mental illness and could be “cured”. She escaped a police prosecution for the comments.

The couple were exposed in the expenses scandal for claiming almost £600,000 a year in salaries and expenses.

They earned six salaries between them and employed four family members as staff.

She earned £63,291 for her position as an MP, £24,296 as an Assembly member and as chairwoman of its health and social services committee and £9,550 as a councillor for the Castlereagh borough in Northern Ireland.

Her husband was found to earn £63,291 as MP for East Belfast, £71,434 for his role as first minister plus a third of the £43,101 salary for being an Assembly member because he is also an MP.