Friday, November 6, 1998 Published at 22:21 GMT
Straw backs Hillsborough officer
Straw: "He is a very good officer."
The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, has given his backing to Merseyside's new Chief Constable, Norman Bettison, despite protests over his links with the Hillsborough disaster.
Mr Bettison has also been criticised for making no mention in his application of his association with the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 people died.
However, Mr Straw said the officer had his "full confidence".
Mr Straw, speaking before the Association of Police Authorities' annual conference in Blackpool, said: "His nomination along with the other officers on the short list was approved by me on the recommendation and advice of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.
Mr Bettison admits that his Hillsborough link was not made clear on his application form for the job but has said it was contained in a report from HMIC made available to all the police authority members.
However, on Thursday two of them, Councillors Dave Martin and Frank Prendergast, resigned claiming they never saw any mention of his association with Hillsborough.
"The information was made available and its a matter for the police authority to follow it up."
The home secretary said he could not see "any reason whatever" for Mr Bettison to have a credibility problem in his new post.
"He is a very good officer," he said.