Top PSNI officer Will Kerr settles discrimination case

Will Kerr had claimed discrimination after he unsuccessfully applied for the deputy chief constable's job
Will Kerr had claimed discrimination after he unsuccessfully applied for the deputy chief constable's job
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One of Northern Ireland’s most senior police officers, who missed out on a top job, has settled an alleged discrimination case.

Will Kerr’s employment tribunal against the Northern Ireland Policing Board was due to be heard next week.

But a spokeswoman for the Policing Board, which makes police appointments, confirmed the case had been closed.

She said: “The Northern Ireland Policing Board and Mr Kerr have settled the case between them on mutually acceptable terms and as such the claim shall not proceed to a hearing next week.”

Mr Kerr unsuccessfully applied to become deputy chief constable of the PSNI last year, but lost out to Drew Harris.

The veteran policeman alleged some unionists who sit on the Policing Board were biased against his application because of his handling of the Union Flag dispute.

The controversial decision by Belfast City Council to restrict the number of days it flies the Union Flag over the City Hall sparked weeks of street protests from hundreds of loyalists in December 2012.

As the officer in charge of policing the pickets, Mr Kerr bore the brunt of loyalist anger.

His handling of the situation was criticised in a court decision, but was later overturned on appeal.

He now heads up the powerful crime operations unit which handles major investigations, organised crime and special operations.