LONDON: Sir Norman Bettison, under-fire chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, has resigned with immediate effect.
Bettison had come under heavy pressure because of not only his role in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster but comments he made in the wake of the publication of the damning report by the independent panel.
He had led an investigation into South Yorkshire Police after the disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death at the start of an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest. The independent panel stated that around 160 police statements had been amended to remove critical comments after the force’s reaction to the tragedy.
Last month Bettison had said he would retire from his current post early next year. He is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The decision came days after allegations made by Liverpool MP Maria Eagle in Monday’s Hillsborough debate in the House of Commons.
She claimed that Bettison, former Merseyside chief constable, had revealed weeks after the 1989 disaster that he had been asked to help “concoct” a story that drunken fans were to blame for the tragedy.
She used parliamentary privilege to make the allegations which were based on new evidence from witness John Barry who discussed the disaster with Bettison. The Merseyside MP alleged Sir Norman was behind a “black propaganda” campaign.
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