Scotland’s top firefighter has been suspended amid a probe into allegations of bullying, STV News understands.
Chief officer Martin Blunden joined the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) from South Yorkshire in early 2019.
It is understood he is now the subject of an investigation by top brass and has been suspended meantime.
In the absence of the chief officer, deputy chief officer Ross Haggart has assumed operational responsibility for the service.
Dr Kirsty Darwent, chair of the SFRS Board, said: “We take any allegation against staff members extremely seriously and have robust procedures in place to ensure complaints are fully investigated.
“Any complaint would be considered confidential while being progressed.”
Mr Blunden replaced Alasdair Hay, who had been in the role from its establishment in 2013.
Mr Blunden had been tweeting from @FireScot_Chief, but the account now states that the profile doesn’t exist.
As well as deputy chief fire officer at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Blunden also served in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
A post on the SFRS website states: “Martin Blunden joined us from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and brings with him over 26 years of experience gained across the UK, including a prestigious national resilience role in water safety and water rescue for the [UK Department for Communities and Local Government].”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “SFRS takes any allegation against staff members extremely seriously and such issues are entirely a matter for the SFRS board.”
The Fire Brigades Union Scotland has been contacted for comment.