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Calls for British Transport Police integration into national force to be put on hold amid Police Scotland 'crisis'

The Scottish Conservatives have called for the British Transport Police merger with Police Scotland to be put on hold due to the 'crisis' in Police Scotland. The call follows the decision of Police Scotland's chief constable, Phil Gormley, to temporarily step aside to fight misconduct charges.

There are two allegations of misconduct aimed at Phil Gormley. It has been suggested that one of the allegations is from a senior officer.

Mr Gormley is now on "special leave" so that he can fight the allegations.

The Scottish Conservative's justice spokesman, Liam Kerr, said: “Even before the latest crisis at Police Scotland, there were major question marks over why the takeover of British Transport Police was taking place.

“Now that the national force is facing such disruption, it would seem to be the height of recklessness to go ahead.

“The SNP Government has refused to listen to anyone over the BTP takeover. Nor has it ever given a good reason for it to go ahead. Surely now it must take heed.

“With Police Scotland in crisis, the sensible thing to do would be to put the entire business on hold.”

Legislation approving the merger was passed by Holyrood in June, despite opposition from the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.

British Transport Police (BTP), as well as trade unions, have also criticised the merger plans.

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