Robinson aide pressured News Letter not to run story on leader

The front page story that Peter Robinson was under pressure to quit
The front page story that Peter Robinson was under pressure to quit

Less than three weeks ago, a senior aide to Peter Robinson attempted to dissuade the News Letter from reporting that the First Minister was close to quitting.

After speaking to six DUP figures – some of them very senior – who either wanted Mr Robinson to quit or believed that he would do so within weeks, the News Letter put those views to the party press office.

Outgoing DUP leader Peter Robinson. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press

Outgoing DUP leader Peter Robinson. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press

Some time later, a senior aide to Mr Robinson rang News Letter political correspondent Sam McBride to rubbish the claims.

The News Letter’s front page story from three weeks ago
He said that the story was wrong and claimed that if this newspaper published what it was being told by DUP insiders it could critically destabilise the talks process.

This newspaper ran the story on its front page on October 31.

On Tuesday, the DUP and Sinn Fein concluded their deal after 10 weeks of talks at Stormont and yesterday Mr Robinson announced his intention to go within weeks.

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