Sir Norman tendered his resignation ahead of a meeting today which was scheduled to consider his role in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which he investigated for South Yorkshire police, West Yorkshire Police Authority Vice-Chairman Les Carter confirmed.
On 22 October, shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle used parliamentary privilege to claim, during a Commons debate on the Hillsborough report, that Sir Norman was behind a “black propaganda” campaign.
She told MPs that several weeks after the disaster, Sir Norman had revealed to John Barry, at the time a fellow part-time student at Sheffield Business School, that he had been asked to help “concoct” South Yorkshire police’s version of events on 15 April 1989.
‘Incredible and wrong’
In a statement issued today, Sir Norman said: “I refute the report of a conversation 23 years ago. The suggestion that I would say to a passing acquaintance that I was deployed as part of a team tasked to ‘concoct a false story of what happened’ is both incredible and wrong.
“That isn’t what I was tasked to do, and I did not say that.”
On 13 September, the day after publication of the report, Sir Norman said had “nothing to hide” and, in a statement, said the behaviour of fans that day had made the police’s job “harder than it needed to be”.
He denied any involvement in the subsequent police cover-up, in which 116 out of 164 statements from police officers were substantially amended to remove or alter comments unfavourable to South Yorkshire police.