Northern Ireland

Policing Board seeks legal advice after McDonald remark

Mary Lou McDonald Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Mary Lou McDonald made her comments after meeting senior PSNI officers about another issue

The Policing Board is seeking legal advice about the recruitment of a new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) chief constable.

Concerns were raised about the fairness of the recruitment process after remarks by Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald.

On Monday, she indicated that an outsider should replace the current Chief Constable George Hamilton.

He has announced that he intends to retire at the end of June.

Unionist politicians have said the Sinn Féin leader's remarks have compromised the forthcoming selection process.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption George Hamilton was appointed chief constable in June 2014

Ms McDonald's comments came on the same afternoon she met two potential candidates for the post - Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin and Assistant Chief Constable George Clarke.

That meeting was about the controversy over Police Ombudsman legacy files.

The Policing Board is taking legal advice about the implications for its recruitment process.

In the past, a selection panel with representatives from the main political parties - including Sinn Féin - has been set up to choose the next chief constable.

Once legal advice is received, the Policing Board will decide its next move.

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