DUP plays down ‘Robinson to quit this week’ report

Senior DUP sources told the News Letter Peter Robinson is expected to stand down around the time of the party conference
Senior DUP sources told the News Letter Peter Robinson is expected to stand down around the time of the party conference

A report that DUP leader Peter Robinson will step down as First Minister as early as Thursday has been played down by a party spokesman.

An article in the Sunday World said DUP “sources” had revealed an official announcement is imminent.

“Mr Robinson’s reign as the party leader has been dogged by anger at the way in which his former leader Ian Paisley was deposed,” the article claimed.

The report went on to say the 66-year-old would also step down as party leader.

However, a spokesman for the DUP linked the latest article to a previous one it described as “wrong”.

“On July 13 the same journalist published a similar story. Time proved him wrong. It’s a case of deja vu. I’m sure this won’t be the last time he gets it wrong either,” the spokesman said.

In the July article, DUP sources are quoted as saying that Peter Robinson was “on the run”.

A subsequent Sunday World article said: “On our front page on July 13 we reported that veteran DUP politicians intend to get rid of Robbo by September.”

In recent weeks the News Letter has been informed by senior DUP members that they expected their leader to stand down around the time of the party conference on November 21.