THE chief constable of Cheshire Police has been suspended following an investigation into alleged gross misconduct.

After allegations were made against Simon Byrne in late 2016, an external police force was asked to conduct an enquiry into the matter.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane, who is also councillor for Penketh and Cuerdley, said it is in the public interest for Mr Byrne to be suspended from the force while a gross misconduct hearing takes place.

Mr Keane said: "Following receipt of the investigation report, and having carefully considered the evidence, I have determined that there is a case to answer for gross misconduct with regards to authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct.

"This matter must now be referred to an independently chaired gross misconduct hearing.

"In light of this determination, I consider that the public interest requires that Mr Byrne be suspended pending the conclusion of the hearing."

Deputy Chief Constable McCormick will take on the role of acting chief constable.