Mayhew meets both sides in police authority dispute


THE Northern Secretary, Sir Patrick Mayhew, had separate meetings at the weekend with the chairman of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland, Mr David Cook, and with Mrs Sheila Davidson, the authority member who tabled "no confidence" motions passed last week on Mr Cook and another authority member, Mr, Chris Ryder.

Mr Cook said after his meeting with Sir Patrick that, he had not resigned and had not been asked to resign. He had given the Northern Secretary a full report of the situation in the authority and the issues which were before it.

The 20 member police authority is split over aspects of a report it is preparing on the future of the RUC. Key issues causing division are proposals for restricting the flying of the Union flag over police stations, and for amending the oath of office for RUC recruits.

The divisions came to a head after public comments by Mr Cook and Mr Ryder on a BBC Spotlight programme recently.

Sir Patrick has told both parties that he intends to consult other members of the police authority on the controversy before taking any action. The next scheduled meeting of the authority is due next month.