Northern Ireland

Iris developer Ken Campbell fights bankruptcy

A developer who lent Iris Robinson £25,000 to help her lover set up a business has begun insolvency proceedings against bankruptcy.

Ken Campbell has applied for an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA).

An IVA is a deal between a debtor and their creditors under which a proportion of the debt is written off and the outstanding money repaid over five years.

Mr Campbell is offering his creditors 37p for every £1 they are owed.

A letter sent to creditors on Mr Campbell's behalf has been seen by the BBC.

In the letter an insolvency practitioner advises the creditors that if they reject the deal and Mr Campbell is bankrupted they would likely receive nothing.

The letter states that Mr Campbell is proposing a "structured wind down" of his construction business which would recover some funds.

His firm J&K Campbell is personally held rather than being incorporated as a limited company, meaning Mr Campbell is liable for its debts.

The creditors are due to vote on the proposals on 28 July.

In January 2010 a solicitor acting for Mr Campbell told the BBC his client had lent £25,000 to Mrs Robinson's lover Kirk McCambley.

No comment

The solicitor said £20,000 had been repaid and it was expected that the outstanding £5,000 would also be paid back in full.

Mr Campbell's solicitor was not available for comment on Friday.

A BBC Spotlight programme broadcast in January 2010 alleged that Mrs Robinson obtained £50,000 from two property developers to help her teenage lover to run a cafe in south Belfast, and asked him for £5,000 for herself.

She failed to register the money with the authorities at Stormont and also failed to tell the Westminster authorities, as required by the law.

Spotlight also reported that Mr Robinson became aware of his wife's involvement in the business deal but failed to tell the proper authorities, despite being obliged to act in the public interest by the ministerial code.

Mr Robinson stepped aside as first minister of Northern Ireland temporarily to clear his name

After the broadcast, Mrs Robinson resigned as an MP, MLA and Castlereagh councillor.


The PSNI's organised crime branch, which specialises in financial investigations, launched an investigation in January 2010.

In March the Public Prosecution Service said the former DUP MP would not face charges over her role in helping her ex-lover Kirk McCambley, set up a business.

The DPP said it would not be bringing a case against the wife of NI's first minister.

A separate inquiry by the NI Assembly's Standards and Privileges Committee was also launched following the broadcast.

It was later suspended pending the police investigation. It resumed in June.

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