Political sex scandals: The latest in a long tradition

Matilda Battersby
Thursday 07 January 2010 16:12

The news that Northern Ireland’s most senior politician has been cheated on by his wife is the latest in a long line of political sex scandals.

First Minister Peter Robinson’s wife, Iris Robinson (a member of the Belfast Assembly and Westminster MP for Strangford), released a statement yesterday confirming a “brief affair”.

Mrs Robinson had recently stood down from politics citing "severe bouts of depression" and it is understood that her husband's discovery of her adultery at midnight on March 1st last year followed a suicide attempt believed to have been motivated by guilt.

A self-professed born again Christian Mrs Robinson previously stoked public outrage by describing homosexuality as “an abomination” and claiming gay people can be “turned” heterosexual by psychotherapy.

She later stated that “the government has a responsibility to uphold God’s laws morally” in keeping abortion illegal in Northern Ireland.

Followers of Mrs Robinson’s dubious moral compass may smirk at the revelations of her infidelities, especially after she criticised Hillary Clinton for standing by her husband after his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

She reportedly said: “No woman would put up with what she tolerated from her husband when he was President.”

Her comments demonstrate, however, that hers is simply the latest entry in a colourful history book of politicians caught with their pants down – and slightly more unusual than most for being the cheating wife, rather than the cheated on.

Click here or on the image above for a potted history of political sex scandals

Photo captions by Charlotte Philby

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