Former South Yorkshire Police chief takes High Court action over loss of job

David Crompton

David Crompton

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South Yorkshire's former Chief Constable, David Crompton, has started his High Court challenge over the loss of his job.

He is in court today for a judicial review over the way he claims he was forced to leave his post at the helm of South Yorkshire Police following the conclusion of the Hillsborough disaster inquests.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, who is also in court for the hearing, called for the then Chief Constable to resign in September over a statement he made after the end of the inquests earlier in the year.

Mr Crompton, who had already said he would retire in November, tendered his resignation the same day but Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary described Dr Billings' request as a 'forced removal' of the Chief Constable and a legal challenge was mounted.

Mr Crompton's lawyers claim that Dr Billings's decision to call upon him to resign or retire was unreasonable, irrational or disproportionate and are seeking it to be declared unlawful.

Dr Billings called for Mr Crompton to leave his post, claiming he had led a force that put its own reputation first before considering victims' of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster.

The families of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster complained that a line of questioning by South Yorkshire Police during the inquests was designed to try and blame the fans for the disaster, which led to them being crushed to death.

After the inquests, Mr Crompton appeared to justify the questioning of the fans' conduct.

Dr Billings said the statement showed Mr Crompton did not 'grasp the gravity of the situation' and that it was 'insensitive and damaged both the force and the Chief Constable himself'.

Hugh Davies QC, representing Mr Crompton, said: "This is about the reputation of David Crompton - a highly-respected Chief Constable."

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