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National force looking for third chief in five years

Phil Gormley's resignation sparks search for new boss
Published - 08/02/2018 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle

Police Scotland will need to appoint its third chief constable since its 2013 formation following the resignation of Phil Gormley.

The former chief, who had been on special leave since September last year, was facing five allegations of misconduct, which he denied.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner has confirmed that its misconduct investigations came to an end when he resigned this week.

Mr Gormley was not required to work his notice period.

Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, who delayed his own retirement due to the issues at the force, said in a statement that the focus remains on day-to-day policing.

“On behalf of everyone at Police Scotland, I would like to thank Phil Gormley for his contribution to policing and wish him and his family well for the future,” he added.

Scottish Police Federation chairman Andrea MacDonald said Mr Gormley had done the right thing.

“It is to his credit that he recognised continued speculation over allegations of misconduct were an ongoing distraction and, in the best interests of policing in Scotland, decided to resign. We wish him well in the future,” she said.

Acting chief DCC Livingstone is now believed to be the frontrunner to take over the post, which he missed out on in 2015.

Having delayed his retirement to lead the force while Mr Gormley was on leave, it is thought he may have left should the chief been allowed to return.

Niven Rennie, former head of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, said: “Iain Livingstone had already said he stayed on the basis that the chief was on leave so it follows if Phil Gormley had come back he would have left.

“I think he’s the best chance we’ve got to stabilise the ship going forward.”

DCC Livingstone was once described by Scottish Police Federation General Secretary Calum Steele “as one of the most talented and highly respected police officers of his generation”.

Other potential candidates for the job could include Lincolnshire Chief Constable Bill Skelly and Met Assistant Commissioner Fiona Taylor.

Labour and the Conservatives both say Justice Secretary Michael Matheson should also resign.

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