MSPs to quiz Justice Secretary on Police Chief's special leave

10 January 2018, 06:41 | Updated: 10 January 2018, 07:16

Michael Matheson

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson is to face questions from MSPs about Chief Constable Phil Gormley's period of special leave from Police Scotland.

Mr Matheson is to give a statement to the Scottish Parliament after claims were made he stepped in to block the senior police officer's return to work.

Mr Gormley was placed on special leave in September amid investigations into allegations of gross misconduct, which he denies, and has not been back to work since.

Mr Matheson has been accused of "interfering'' in the decision over whether he should return to active duty after the board of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) gave Mr Gormley its unanimous backing to go back to work in November.

Mr Gormley's lawyer David Morgan wrote to the then SPA's chair Andrew Flanagan saying his client was ''concerned that his return was delayed following intervention'' by Mr Matheson.

The decision for Mr Gormley to be placed on leave is kept under review by the board of the SPA, who will next consider the matter on January 25.