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The BBC's Terry Stiastny
"James Ashley's family have welcomed the chief constable's resignation"
 real 56k

Solicitor for James Ashley's family, Brian Jackson
"The family will be delighted that someone at last has taken responsibility"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Family's call for public inquiry
flowers
Flowers placed near the spot where Mr Ashley was killed
The family of James Ashley has welcomed the decision by Sussex Chief Constable Paul Whitehouse to resign.

Tony Ashley, Mr Ashley's brother, said: "It is good news but we do not want it to overshadow the call for a public inquiry."

James Ashley, 39, was shot dead by police marksman Chris Sherwood after officers burst into his flat in St Leonards in January 1998.

Louise Ellman
Louise Ellman: "Case raises major issues"
His family, which hails from Liverpool, is calling for changes in the law which would make it easier to prosecute the police in similar circumstances.

It believes an inquiry into the shooting could bring about sweeping legal changes.

Liverpool Riverside Labour MP Louise Ellman also welcomed news of the resignation.

She said: "Despite severe condemnation of the planning and execution of the fatal raid, no-one has been found responsible. Now officers involved have been promoted.

'Tip of the iceberg'

"I very much welcome the intervention of the home secretary and the subsequent resignation of the chief constable.

"More than 40 unarmed people have been shot by police in the last 10 years and 15 have died.

"The Ashley case raises major issues about responsibility and accountability in the use of firearms by police. It is the tip of the iceberg.

Norman Baker
Norman Baker: "Incident was worrying"
"David Blunkett's decisive intervention in this case is a very significant first step in attending to these critical issues."

But Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes in East Sussex and a home affairs spokesman for the party, said Mr Blunkett had acted inappropriately.

"The incident was a worrying one and there is understandable public concern," he said.

"However, the police chief was a capable officer and it is a pity that he had to resign.

"It was inappropriate for Mr Blunkett to pressure the local police authority to ask for his resignation."

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