SIR Christopher Pitchford will step down from the inquiry into undercover policing before it ends after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, he announced yesterday.
Mr Pitchford was appointed after the scandal of spooks spying on trade unionists and duping female activists into sexual relationships erupted.
He was diagnosed with the degenerative condition in November, and the inquiry will now seek to appoint a new panel member to take over from him at an unspecified later date.
He said: “I wish to assure the inquiry’s core participants and the public that the inquiry’s work continues unabated and that… the transitional arrangements that are being put in place will ensure its continuity when the time comes for me to step down as chairman.”
The inquiry announced last week that it was unlikely to begin full evidence hearings before the end of the year.