Election 2015

Election profile: Peter Robinson, DUP leader

Peter Robinson
Image caption Peter Robinson is the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and Northern Ireland's first minister

Peter Robinson has been leader of the Democratic Unionist Party since 2008.

Actively involved in politics since the 1970s, Northern Ireland's first minister is also one of the founder members of the DUP.

An estate agent by profession, Mr Robinson married Iris Collins in 1970 and they later became a husband and wife team at Westminster.

He won the East Belfast seat in 1979 and became DUP deputy leader a year later.

He built a reputation as a canny strategist, plotting the DUP's election campaigns.

In the mid 1980s, he played a leading role in the joint unionist campaign against the Anglo-Irish Agreement, a treaty that gave the Dublin government a greater say in Northern Ireland.

This led to one of the most controversial episodes in his career when he led 500 loyalists in an "incursion" into the Monaghan village of Clontibret.

He later pleaded guilty to unlawful assembly. Later that year, he was photographed wearing a beret at a rally of the paramilitary Ulster Resistance movement.

When the DUP became the main unionist party, Mr Robinson, a father of three, emerged as one of the party's most influential negotiators in the talks that led to the 2006 St Andrews Agreement.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption In 2010, allegations about Mr Robinson's wife Iris were made in a BBC programme

In 2008, following the resignation of Rev Ian Paisley, Mr Robinson became DUP leader and Northern Ireland first minister.

The challenges facing him included the completion of devolution, by agreeing the transfer of policing and justice powers.

In January 2010, allegations emerged in a BBC NI programme about his wife's financial affairs.

He faced a claim that he knew his wife, the then MP for Strangford, had obtained £50,000 from two developers for her teenage lover, but he did not tell the proper authorities about the transaction.

Mr Robinson stepped aside from his role as first minister temporarily.

Key priorities


Main pledges

  • Make Northern Ireland an economic powerhouse
  • Deliver world class public services
  • Create a society based on fairness and opportunity for everyone
  • Make politics and government work better in Northern Ireland and enhance British identity

In May 2010, he lost his Westminster seat to Naomi Long of the Alliance Party.

In 2014, the assembly's Committee on Standards and Privileges found Mr Robinson did not breach the assembly's code of conduct.

Last year, Mr Robinson apologised for comments he made defending a pastor who called Islam "heathen" and "satanic".

Mr Robinson is not standing as a candidate in the 2015 general election.