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Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Friday, 8 January 2010

NI devolution 'in peril' over Robinson scandal

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Northern Ireland's first minister, Peter Robinson, is facing allegations that he failed to inform parliamentary authorities of his wife's financial dealings.

The BBC Spotlight programme has claimed that Peter Robinson failed to take the necessary action after becoming aware that his wife Iris did not declare £50,000 that she obtained from two property developers. Mr Robinson denies he has done anything wrong.

Mrs Robinson MP, who earlier this week admitted having an affair, obtained the money for her 19-year-old lover to open a cafe.

Spotlight journalist Darragh MacIntyre outlined their investigation on the programme and Ireland correspondent for the Independent, David McKittrick, discussed the implication for devolution in Northern Ireland.

"The idea that he [Peter Robinson] might fall over this, which is a possibility, means that there would be a full scale, full blown political crisis in Belfast," he said.

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