Michael Matheson rejects calls to quit over watchdog email
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has rejected calls to resign after one of his officials was warned not to interfere in the work of Scotland’s police watchdog. Matheson told MSPs at Holyrood he “fully supported” the independence of Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) Kate Frame. The issue was being discussed at Holyrood as it emerged the Pirc is looking at a fifth allegation of gross misconduct against Police Scotland Chief Constable Phil Gormley. Emails published at the weekend showed Frame rebuked the deputy director of the Scottish Government’s police division for suggesting in November that her report on the Scottish Police Authority (SPA)’s complaint handling procedures might be delayed. The email was sent against the backdrop of ongoing misconduct allegations against Gormley and Frame said her perception was of “governmental interference”.
Police Scotland chief constable faces new investigation
When Philip Gormley came out of retirement to take charge of Scotland’s national police force, it was supposed to be the final act of a proud career in law enforcement. But two years on, Mr Gormley is marooned on indefinite leave and is now facing five separate investigations for gross misconduct. The chief constable has strongly denied the allegations, but Police Scotland’s woes are a headache for the ruling Scottish National party, which created the UK’s second largest police force by merging eight regional forces in 2013.
Calls for Michael Matheson’s resignation ramped up
Pressure mounted on Justice Secretary Michael Matheson when Holyrood’s two main opposition parties demanded his resignation over claims of political interference in the policing system. After Mr Matheson was forced to Holyrood to answer questions about recent controversies Labour issued a statement saying he should quit his Cabinet job. Labour’s justice spokesman Daniel Johnson took the step after Mr Matheson faced repeated Conservative calls for his resignation in the Scottish Parliament. Mr Matheson was hauled in front of parliament after it emerged that one of his most senior civil servants sought to delay the publication of a report into the Scottish Police Authority by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC). E-mails published at the weekend revealed that Scottish Government official Don McGillivray suggested that PIRC Kate Frame could hold back publication of the report into SPA complaints.
Justice Secretary rejects opposition’s calls to resign
The justice secretary has rejected calls from opposition MSPs to resign after it emerged one of his officials was accused of interfering with an independent police watchdog report. Michael Matheson faced criticism at Holyrood on Tuesday over the affair after a string of emails about the matter were released to the Sunday Post after a freedom of information request.
Firefighters could be offered 20% pay rise for expanded role
Firefighters in Scotland could be offered a pay rise of “up to 20%” if they agree to take on new responsibilities, according to reports. The pay increase, described as “a new reward package” for an expanded role, includes firefighters tackling terrorism and providing emergency medical care. But BBC Scotland said that between 200 and 300 jobs could be cut from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) as part of the deal. The offer is expected to be discussed by the Scottish and UK Fire Brigade Union next week. SFRS has said there will be no compulsory redundancies.
Police chief `wants drivers penalised for going 1mph over speed limit´
Drivers should be punished for going just 1mph over the speed limit, Britain’s roads policing chief has reportedly said. Chief constable Anthony Bangham is said to have called for an end to the 10% “buffer” over the limit, and said speeding awareness courses were being used too widely instead of penalty points and fines. Mr Bangham, the National Police Chiefs Council lead on road policing, added that drivers caught speeding should “not come whinging to us about” it.
Now embattled chief constable faces FIFTH gross misconduct probe
Scotland’s Chief Constable is facing a fifth investigation into an allegation of gross misconduct. The probe relates to a complaint against Phil Gormley from the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), representing rank-and-file officers, over a claim of ‘dishonesty’. It was sent to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), which has referred the grievance to the Police Investigations Review Commissioner (PIRC). The PIRC is already looking at four other complaints of gross misconduct relating to Mr Gormley’s behaviour, including claims of bullying, which he denies.
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