POLITICAL leaders in Northern Ireland have welcomed the resignation of Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Constable Simon Byrne.
His resignation was confirmed yesterday afternoon, with Northern Ireland Policing Board Chair Deirdre Toner stating during a press conference that Mr Byrne had tendered his resignation with immediate effect.
It follows a series of controversies within the PSNI, including a major data leak last month and the unlawful disciplining of two junior officers.
Welcoming the decision DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the resignation was the “first step towards rebuilding confidence in the PSNI both inside and outside the organisation”.
He said: “We welcome the decision by the Chief Constable to step down. It is the right thing to do following last week’s ruling by Mr Justice Schofield that the PSNI senior command unlawfully disciplined two of its own officers to appease Sinn Fein."
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has also welcomed the decision, claiming “restoring confidence in the PSNI must be out singular focus” now.
“Policing in Northern Ireland is in a very difficult place right now,” Mr Eastwood said.
”Successive crises have left confidence in the Chief Constable shattered from all directions. “His resignation was the right thing to do and was necessary to begin to address the serious issues facing the PSNI.”