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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 14:18 GMT
Prime minister backs Sir Ronnie
Gordon Brown has given Sir Ronnie his backing
Gordon Brown has given Sir Ronnie his backing
Gordon Brown has said that former RUC chief constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan is doing an excellent job.

Last month, Sir Ronnie was criticised by relatives of Omagh bomb victims following a judge's criticisms of the police over the investigation.

Sir Ronnie, who was chief constable at the time of the 1998 bombing, is now the Home Secretary's senior professional advisor on policing.

The prime minister has given his public backing to the former chief constable.

During his monthly press conference at Downing Street, Mr Brown was asked if he still had confidence in Sir Ronnie, who is now head of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.
Sir Ronnie Flanagan
Sir Ronnie heads up the Inspectorate of Constabulary

Mr Brown replied: "I worked with Sir Ronnie Flanagan on many occasions, he is conducting a review of policing in this country.

"He is doing an excellent job. He published an interim report which is very helpful to the process of police reform and I have got no reason to change my judgement and I'm not going to change my judgement on that."

Last month, Sean Hoey was cleared of 58 charges, including the murders of 29 people in the 1998 Real IRA attack.

During the trial, Mr Justice Weir said two officers on the case were guilty of "deliberate and calculated deception". It later emerged they are still on duty with the police.

One is currently working as a chief inspector, the another is a constable with the PSNI.

The Policing Board has pledged an independent review of all investigations into the Omagh bombing.

The current chief constable Sir Hugh Orde has defended the performance of police, adding that detectives were hindered by mistakes during the initial investigation after the bombing.



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