Speaking after the Justice Secretary delivered a statement on the Chief Constable's leave of absence, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:
"The SNP Government created the centralised policing structure which puts a heavy onus on the pivotal relationships between the Justice Secretary, Chief Constable and SPA chair.
"The sorry saga over the current Chief Constable's leave has lasted for months. Given it has now come to lawyers exchanging blows, people will wonder how possible it will be for the Cabinet Secretary to have a functioning working relationship were the Chief Constable to return in due course.
"Mr Matheson’s sharp criticism today of the SPA board’s unanimous decision back in November to sanction an immediate return to work by the Chief Constable also raises further questions. This was a collective failure by the SPA board and the Justice Secretary appeared to have no confidence in those who were responsible for it”.