Sunday 25 June 2017

Ex-boyfriend still owes one builder £5,000

Claire Harrison

IRIS Robinson's lover is still £5,000 (€5,546) in debt to one of the property developers at the heart of the MP's financial scandal, he revealed last night.

Ken Campbell -- one of two builders who bankrolled Mrs Robinson's then 19-year-old lover Kirk McCambley to open a riverside cafe in Belfast -- has spoken out about the loan for the first time yesterday.

He and the late Fred Fraser have found their names at the centre of the crisis engulfing the Strangford MP and her husband Peter since it emerged that each man gave Mr McCambley £25,000 (€27,733) to start up the Lock Keeper's Inn on the banks of the River Lagan.

They handed over the cash in response to a request from Mrs Robinson, prompting allegations she had acted improperly.

The BBC 'Spotlight' programme which revealed Mrs Robinson's financial dealings claimed she gave £45,000 (€49,926) to Mr McCambley and kept £5,000 for herself.

The programme said the high-ranking DUP politician demanded the money back after her relationship with Mr McCambley, now 21, soured. He told BBC's 'Spotlight' he subsequently paid back £40,000 (€44,379).

A solicitor representing Mr Campbell issued a statement yesterday to say he expected to see an outstanding £5,000 paid back.

Lawyers acting for the builder said: "In relation to the recent press reports, we have been instructed to confirm that Mr Campbell lent the relevant monies to Mr McCambley on an interest-free basis, expecting their repayment in full once his new business had become firmly established.

"To date, £20,000 (€22,190) has been repaid, with £5,000 outstanding. With the business up and running, our client expects to be fully repaid and Mr McCambley's debt cleared."

The family of well-known developer Fred Fraser, who died two months after giving Mr McCambley the money, also issued a statement yesterday, describing the money as a "donation".

Irish Independent

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