Scotland politics

Timeline: The Phil Gormley inquiry

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27 July 2017 - Police Scotland's Chief Constable Phil Gormley confirms he is under investigation for misconduct. The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) board meets and concludes that suspension is "not appropriate", and says Mr Gormley will stay on in post during investigations.

8 September - The chief constable goes on "special leave" after further complaints are made.

27 September - A third complaint is referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc).

2 October - A fourth complaint is made public.

5 October - Mr Gormley's period of leave is extended by the SPA.

7 November - The SPA board meets, and in a private session decides unanimously that Mr Gormley should return to work.

8 November - Chief executive John Foley writes to Mr Gormley saying he should come back to work in two days' time.

9 November - The SPA and Mr Gormley's lawyers draft a press release announcing the chief constable's return to work. Meanwhile, chairman Andrew Flanagan has two meetings with Justice Secretary Michael Matheson about Mr Gormley's return - and subsequently emails board members recommending the decision is "paused". Later that afternoon Mr Gormley - on his way back to Scotland - is told by Mr Flanagan not to come back.

10 November - news breaks of a fifth complaint against Mr Gormley.

14 November - Mr Gormley's lawyer writes to Andrew Flanagan saying that "any intervention by the Scottish ministers to reverse the board's decision is ultra vires and unlawful".

28 November - Mr Gormley's lawyers write to Mr Matheson accusing him of acting "unlawfully" by intervening in the case.

30 November - Mr Gormley and Paul Johnson - the Scottish government's director of education, communities and justice - hold an "informal" meeting at St Andrews House in Edinburgh, where Mr Gormley makes clear he wants to "resume his full responsibilities as soon as possible".

4 December - Mr Flanagan leaves his post, having tendered his resignation amid criticism from MSPs, and is replaced by former MSP Susan Deacon.

21 December - Mr Johnson tells Holyrood's public audit committee that Mr Flanagan had wanted Mr Gormley reinstated - the first MSPs hear of the possibility.

22 December - Mr Gormley's lawyer writes to the audit committee with copies of correspondence between himself, the SPA and the justice secretary, which are subsequently published for the first time.

4 January 2018 - Pirc boss Kate Frame writes to the committee revealing that she was not consulted by the SPA about Mr Flanagan's proposed return to work, saying she would have had "real and significant concerns" about such a move at that time.

10 January - Mr Matheson updates MSPs about the meeting with Mr Flanagan in November, saying he had raised questions about "clearly deficient" decision-making processes but denying intervening in an operational matter.

23 January - As a sixth complaint is made, new SPA chairwoman Susan Deacon backs Mr Matheson's intervention, saying he would have been "failing in his duty" had he not raised questions. At the same meeting, interim police chief Iain Livingstone confirms that he was not consulted about the plan.

24 January - A seventh complaint is lodged, this time by the Scottish Police Federation. It is reported that Mr Gormley's leave has been extended again.

25 January - Mr Flanagan tells MSPs that Mr Matheson told him the move to reinstate Mr Gormley was a "bad decision" - but says the justice secretary did not seek to "direct" him. Labour calls for Mr Matheson to "consider his position".

7 February - Mr Gormley resigns from the post of chief constable with immediate effect, saying that the "events since November 2017" make it "impossible for me to resume my duties in a meaningful way".

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