Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 17:41 UK

MPs' call over Brunstrom's future

Richard Brunstrom
Richard Brunstrom caused confusion with his contradictory statements

Labour MPs have urged "greater clarity" on the future of North Wales Police chief constable Richard Brunstrom.

Mr Brunstrom caused confusion when he said he thought he would retire by Christmas 2009, but then backtracked on his announcement.

Martyn Jones, MP for Clwyd South, asked North Wales Police Authority to put an end to "uncertainty", which he said was "bad for police morale".

The authority said it had begun the process to appoint a successor.

Mr Brunstrom had indicated that he would retire next year when he spoke on BBC Wales' Value Judgements programme in August.

The council tax payers of North Wales have the right to know who will be leading their police service
Martyn Jones MP

He said at the time: "My wife and I intend to retire, sell up, buy a boat and go sailing. That is while we are still young and fit enough to do so."

He added: "I have a contract which goes until Christmas next year and I suspect by that time I will simply retire and simply disappear."

'Sadly exaggerated'

However, a fortnight later he retracted his own announcement by saying: "I'm not retiring. I'm not doing a Tony Blair.

"If anyone has told you I am retiring, they are mistaken.

"Reports of my demise are sadly exaggerated. It is not happening. I've got work to do.

"I will retire one day - I will die one day - but not any time soon."

In a statement on Wednesday, the north Wales Labour MPs called for police authority chairman Ian Roberts to make clear Mr Brunstrom's position.

Mr Jones said: "We must have an end to this drift, uncertainty is bad for police morale.

"The council tax payers of north Wales have the right to know who will be leading their police service.

"Ian Roberts should put and end to this speculation, and do it now."

'Successor'

A North Wales Police Authority spokesperson said: "The situation is clear. Richard Brunstrom's contract runs until the end of 2009.

"We have started the long process leading to the appointment of a suitable, high calibre successor.

"This is a vitally important appointment and we will not be rushed into acting with undue haste.

"In the meantime North Wales Police, under Richard Brunstrom's leadership, continues to be one of the best performing forces in the UK."

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