Peter Robinson wins apology over terrorism allegations

Metro claimed former DUP leader had been a member of Ulster Resistance group

 Peter Robinson speaks at Stormont Castle in November 2015 about his decision to step down as Northern Ireland first minister.   Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Peter Robinson speaks at Stormont Castle in November 2015 about his decision to step down as Northern Ireland first minister. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Former Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson has secured an apolmogy over false newspaper claims that he was once a member of a terrorist group.

The retraction was made as part of an overall settlement in defamation proceedings threatened against the publishers of Metro.

It is understood Mr Robinson will also receive undisclosed damages.

The former Democratic Unionist Party leader put Associated Newspapers on notice after an article appeared in June this year.

His lawyer, Paul Tweed, was set to launch a libel action at the High Court in Belfast on Wednesday.

But a resolution has now been reached involving a statement appearing in Metro’s online edition.

“On 9 June, we wrongly reported that Peter Robinson, the former leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, had been an active member of a terror group, the Ulster Resistance,” it states.

“Mr Robinson has neither been a member of a terror group, nor supported terrorism.

“We apologise to Mr Robinson for our error and any embarrassment caused.”

Following confirmation of the settlement, Mr Tweed described it as a comprehensive apology made to his client. “He acknowledges, as part of an overall settlement, this categoric retraction of an outrageous allegation that should never have been published in the first place,” said Mr Tweed.