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Head of criminal probe into Hillsborough to step down

Jon Stoddart has led Operation Resolve since December 2012. Credit: PA

The former police chief in charge of the criminal investigation into the Hillsborough disaster has decided to step down from the role due to health issues.

The Home Office confirmed Assistant Commissioner Jon Stoddart would leave his post after nearly four years heading Operation Resolve, which is probing the planning and preparation for the 1989 FA Cup semi-final where 96 Liverpool fans died.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd paid tribute to Mr Stoddart and said his replacement would be named shortly, with the investigation's work unaffected by the change.

I would like to thank Jon Stoddart for the strong, dedicated leadership he has brought to Operation Resolve since December 2012. I am sure this was a very difficult decision for him to make.

Everyone involved with Operation Resolve is absolutely clear that their work will continue apace, it remains on schedule and I look forward to announcing Jon's successor in due course.

– Home Secretary Amber Rudd

The inquiry, which runs alongside an IPCC investigation into the conduct of South Yorkshire Police, is due to deliver evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service by the end of the year.

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