It was revealed today that Mr Gormley, who has been on gardening leave since September, will resign his post with immediate effect.
He is currently the subject of five separate investigations by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) amid allegations of bullying. He denies all of the allegations.
Speaking in parliament today (Wednesday) Mr Matheson said: “I respect the decision of the Chief Constable and hope this enables policing in Scotland to move forward with a clear focus on delivering the long term strategy, Policing 2026, that Phil Gormley helped to develop.
“While the management of the police service has been the subject of close scrutiny in recent months I would like to pay tribute to all those officers who have continued to serve the people of Scotland every day, helping to keep crime at historically low levels and making our communities safer.”
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Mr Matheson added: “I have spoken with Susan Deacon, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, which will undertake the process of appointing a new Chief Constable.
“Professor Deacon informed me yesterday that the Scottish Police Authority were in discussions with the Chief Constable’s representatives regarding his future and provided assurance that the appropriate processes were being followed.
“Going forward, I am encouraged by the commitment she has made to improving the robustness of decision-making in the Scottish Police Authority.”