NW chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal to step down in 'savings push'

Nazir Afzal
Image caption Nazir Afzal took up his position as Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West of England in 2011

The Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England is to step down as part of a savings push, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Nazir Afzal has led several high-profile prosecutions, including ex-broadcaster Stuart Hall's trial.

The Manchester Evening News reported Mr Afzal was recently cleared of an allegation he sent a text message to a defendant in a court case.

He told the paper the decision to leave was a "long-planned move".

A CPS spokesman said: "We are continuing to reduce the number of staff employed across the organisation and Nazir Afzal is leaving the service as part of this on-going drive for efficiency.

"This is entirely unrelated to any issue of conduct and we are satisfied that there has been no impropriety on the part of Mr Afzal."

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