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Ulster Unionist MLA withdraws from panel to appoint deputy chief constable

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Alan Chambers MLA

Alan Chambers MLA

Stephen Hamilton/

Alan Chambers MLA

An Ulster Unionist MLA has withdrawn from the interview panel to appoint the new deputy chief constable after expressing concern over the process.

Alan Chambers was to have been one of five politicians on the interview panel but he has now written to the Policing Board saying the process needed to be "rigorously fair", the BBC reports.

He said the shortlist did not leave him with the impression it was fair, however, the board said the process has been subjected to independent scrutiny at all stages.

In the letter Mr Chambers said: "This is- to say the least- a most unsatisfactory state of affairs and I would therefore like it to be formally noted that my confidence in this recruitment process is less than it was at the start of last week, and far short of where it needs to be."

Mr Chambers said he could not comment further on his decision when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph but said it was not a decision he "took lightly".

The Policing Board has been approached for comment.

It is understood temporary deputy chief constable (DCC) Stephen Martin retired after learning that he had not been selected for interview to take the position on a permanent basis.

He has been temporary DCC since August 2018 and was among the final candidates interviewed for the post of chief constable last year.

It is understood four out of eight applicants missed out on being called for interview on the basis of their application forms.

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PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin

PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin

Interviews for the £168,000-a-year post will be held this week, with the appointment being announced on January 30.

Belfast Telegraph