After winning the U.S. Open in June, his second consecutive major victory, Jordan Spieth sought to pre-empt the eager golf press from christening a rivalry between him and Rory McIlroy, the man whose world No. 1 ranking he was rapidly threatening.“Rory has four majors and dozens of wins, and I’m just starting out,” Spieth told reporters.Spieth is correct about his relative inexperience; he turned 22 in July and is in only his third PGA Tour season. But what he has accomplished in 2015 is on pace to surpass anything achieved in a single season by McIlroy — or anyone else in modern PGA Tour history, for that matter — at such a young age.Spieth’s raw exploits this season are impressive: four wins, including two majors, and six other top-five finishes. But if we want a more exact sense of how his 2015 compares to other great seasons in golf history, we must place them all on a standard scale. To do that, I compiled data from GOLFstats.com, converting the leaderboard of every PGA Tour event since 1970 into a set of z-scores (a metric1Used previously at FiveThirtyEight and Grantland. that considers how many standard deviations from the mean2Computed using only players who made the cut in a given tournament. a player’s score was). The average z-score for all of a player’s tournaments in a given season represents his performance that year.According to that metric, here are the best 20 seasons in modern PGA Tour3Which includes all official PGA Tour tournaments except match-play events (which don’t lend themselves to z-scoring). history:The sheer dominance of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, who account for the first 11 spots on the list, is striking. Although it would generate little controversy to label them the two greatest golfers of all time, these numbers help emphasize how far ahead of the field they were. What is perhaps even more astonishing is that the first non-Tiger, non-Jack name to appear on this list is Spieth’s, for his performance this year.We’re in the midst of Spieth’s age-22 season (for this analysis, I defined a player’s age as the oldest he was at any point during the season in question), and thus far, he’s been a lot better than Woods was at the same age. Woods’s average z-score of -0.95 in 1998 ranks outside the top 50 seasons of all time. Likewise, McIlroy’s average z-score in his age-22 season was -0.58, which didn’t even rank among the top performances of 2011, much less the best seasons ever.4Even McIlroy’s age-23 season, in 2012 — his best year on tour, punctuated by a record-setting win at the PGA Championship — ranks 32nd on this list, 20 spots behind Spieth’s 2015. And Spieth’s rise could be even scarier for the rest of the tour, considering the leap taken by both McIlroy and Woods between the ages of 22 and 23.(As for Nicklaus, I don’t have complete data on his age-22 season, in 1962 — although Jack’s three wins and 16 top-tens compare favorably to Spieth on the surface.)Of course, Spieth will have to sustain his current pace for a few more months to fully warrant this praise. And if he emerges from this weekend’s PGA Championship with his third major of the season, his case will almost certainly be helped; the average z-score for PGA winners since 1970 is -2.39 (a mark that would help him cut ever deeper into the Woods/Nicklaus monopoly). But even if Spieth goes without another victory in 2015, his performance to date suggests that he will not be able to downplay his on-course credentials for long.
Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks 82-81 at Chicago’s United Center on Halloween night.Rose connected on a last shot with 5.7 seconds left to lift Chicago to the win in his first regular season home game since he hurt his left knee a year and a half ago.“That’s what builds your resume,” Rose said. “Leaves a mark on your legacy.”Rose it the final shot when it counted but he didn’t have a great night, scoring 18 points on 7-of-23 shooting and committed four turnovers.Tyson Chandler went 1 for 2 at the foul line to give the Knicks a 81-80 lead with 10.8 seconds remaining. Rose then drove to the baseline and hit a floater over Chandler and Raymond Felton for the winning basket.“I was right there. He just made a big-time play,” Chandler said. “I don’t know if he saw the basket to be honest with you.”The Knicks had another shot, but Carmelo Anthony missed a long jumper as the time ran out.“I got the look I wanted,” Anthony said.
After the Brooklyn Nets’ dramatic victory in Game 7 of the first round of the NBA playoffs on the road (itself a rare feat), the team’s next challenge will be facing the defending champion Miami Heat.The Heat are favored, with opening lines giving them around an 85 percent chance of advancing — and they’re relatively close to even money to take home their third consecutive championship. Miami’s 54-28 regular-season record was 10 games better than Brooklyn’s 44-38, and its 4.15 SRS (margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule) led the East, while Brooklyn’s -1.58 SRS isn’t even better than average.Brooklyn mainly has one thing going for it1Well, sort of two: In calendar-year 2014, regular season and playoffs combined, Brooklyn is 38-20 while Miami is 34-21 (of course, that timeframe is cherry-picked). Our natural tendency is to weight recent performance more heavily than earlier performance, but outside of major injuries and trades, there’s not a lot of evidence for this approach’s accuracy in the NBA.: The team swept its regular-season series against Miami, winning all four games. Now, three of those four were decided by one point each, and the other went to double overtime, so it’s not as if the Nets had the Heat completely locked down. Still, if some teams match up better against certain teams than against others (independent of their relative strength), a result like this would make it more likely that Brooklyn is better — at least against Miami — than we might have thought.Intuitions about the importance of such head-to-head records vary substantially: Some commentators and experts cite them liberally, while some stats types dismiss anything that’s based on so few games and/or that doesn’t regard every sport as a weighted random walk. The truth is that there’s a real and demonstrable value of head-to-head record relative to a team’s record against other teams. But that value is limited.While Brooklyn winning four games out of four sounds impressive, it’s only two games above what we would expect to happen by chance. So to have any kind of significance, the relative importance of head-to-head results must be substantially higher than comparable results against other opponents.On the other hand, if a team like Brooklyn “matches up well” against a seemingly stronger team like Miami, its chances of going 4-0 increase dramatically. For example, a team with a 30 percent expectation of winning one game will go 4 for 4 around 0.8 percent of the time, while a team that’s even money in each game will sweep around 6.25 percent of the time. Thus, as a Bayesian matter, going 4-0 makes it much more likely that you “match up well.”That is, if “matching up well” is a real thing. And if it is, it should be a measurable statistical phenomenon. Which it is.To examine this, I gathered all regular- and postseason games from 1985 through 2013. Then, with the goal of predicting each playoff game,2The importance of head-to-head record to predicting game outcomes can be measured in either regular-season or postseason contexts, but focusing on the playoffs simplifies the problem for a couple reasons: 1) Since all regular-season games come before the playoffs, you don’t have to do tricks like using future games to predict present ones; 2) Most regular-season head-to-head records in recent years are out of two or four games with an equal number on the road or at home (with only a minority at three games with one extra home or away). This makes it easier to avoid potential home-court skew. I ran a logistic regression3The kind of regression most commonly used to predict binary outcomes like wins and losses. to estimate a given team’s chances of winning using the following variables:Whether the team is playing at home (1 for home, -1 for away).How well the team did against its opponent in regular-season games. The exact calculation of this is complicated,4For regression purposes, we have to account for series that have a different number of games at home and on the road, so these win differences are actually measured against each team’s expectation given any such advantage it might have. I should note that whether you make this adjustment or not, or even whether you just exclude unbalanced series, the relative value of head-to-head versus other games comes up almost the same. The adjustment allows us to increase the sample size, making the results more robust. but functionally it just means the difference in number of wins.The difference between the teams’ records against all other opponents.5Also slightly adjusted for any home/away imbalance. Essentially, the number of games above .500 one team wins (excluding games against its opponent) minus the number of games above .500 of the opponent (again, except for games against the first team).The result of my calculations:6The two main numbers to observe are the 0.2085 coefficient for H2H_win_difference (in scientific notation as 2.085e-01) and the 0.05478 coefficient (as 5.487e-02) for Not_H2H_win_difference. A prior win against an opponent should initially be weighted about 3.8 times (see coefficients in footnote) more heavily than a game against someone else. Since these games are already twice as valuable as other games by virtue of having both teams involved — a win by Team A is both one more win for it and one more loss for Team B — the bottom line is that previous head-to-head games are worth about as much as two non-head-to-head games per team (3.8/2=1.9).7You also get similar relative weights if you perform this analysis on margin of victory or some variant thereof (though that analysis is a bit trickier).Using the coefficients from that regression output, we can create a logistic function8This is the equation generated by the logistic regression above that we use to predict game outcomes. In Excel it looks like so: =1/(1+EXP(-([Intercept]+[HomeCoefficient]*[h]+[H2HCoefficient]*[H2H_win_difference]+[NotH2HCoefficient]*[NotH2H_win_difference]))). to tell us the odds that a team with given relative strength will win a particular playoff game.The x-axis is a team’s combined regular-season win differential against its opponent (using both head-to-head and non-head-to-head games). For example, Miami scores 10 against Brooklyn because Miami won 54 regular-season games to Brooklyn’s 44. The central black lines are the probabilities of winning home or away games based on win difference alone. The gray lines are the new probabilities when adjusted for a head-to-head difference of +4 or -4 (typically the best and worst possible).9In recent years teams play four games against each other at most during the regular season.So depending on how strong the favorite is, going 4-0 against that team in the regular season can gain the opponent up to a 5 percent better chance of winning a particular playoff game than if the teams had gone 2-2 against each other, and an almost 10 percent higher expectation of victory than if the opponent had gone 0-4.On balance, I think that’s a fairly pro-head-to-head development: Having a 5 percent better chance based on information from only four games that are already included in each team’s overall record is notable when dealing with razor-thin NBA margins.10So if you had that information and someone else didn’t, it would be enough for you to beat the vig betting against him in a sportsbook, easily.Compounded over the length of a series, this is enough to have a pretty significant effect on who advances and who doesn’t.These are calculated series odds for the home team in a best-of-seven series (i.e., the binomial probability of winning at least four games out of four home games plus three away games given the home and away probabilities generated by our regression). There are a couple of things to note from this chart:For teams of even strength, the home team is a 66 percent favorite if it was 4-0 against its opponent in the regular season, but a 45 percent underdog if it was 0-4.The shift in odds for a two-game advantage (usually because of a 3-1 or 2-0 head-to-head record) is approximately the same as the value of having home-court advantage for the series(!).While moderately impressive, this gets us nowhere close to making Brooklyn a favorite against Miami by virtue of its 4-0 record alone (though if this were all the information in the world, the 72 percent odds of Miami winning here would be much worse than the 85 percent predicted by the market).Finally, we can check how well our series estimates perform against actual results by running the same empirical analysis as above, except on series outcomes.As a gut check, the fitted series results and the predicted series results are similar enough. I should note that the sample sizes are too small for these curves (and particularly the head-to-head breakdown) to be completely significant (this is why I used binomial calculations above instead). But this graph has a few interesting points as well:In actual outcomes, home teams with similar overall regular-season win/loss records to their opponents seem to have much worse series records in reality than we would predict. Of the 75 series where teams with home-court advantage had zero to three more wins than their opponents, the home teams won only 39 (or 52 percent, where binomial probabilities would predict greater than 60 percent), including just 14 of 33 who had tied or had only one more win.11While it’s obviously a small sample, this is really a fascinating result: Close series are theoretically exactly the ones where we tend to think home-court advantage would be really useful.Teams with home-court advantage appear to have underperformed our model in series where the difference between teams is small, but have outperformed our model when it’s more of a mismatch.12The multitude of ways that NBA playoff series don’t track with estimated/simulated/calculated projections is a continued source of fascination for me.The head-to-head effect (though based on a smaller sample) actually appears to be a bit bigger than what we would expect from the effects we saw in individual games. A record of 0-4 can decrease a team’s chances of winning its series by up to 25 percent, while the opposite is true if the record is 4-0.Whether or not you find these results surprising, it’s clear that the effect is nowhere near strong enough to take a 10-game dog and make it a favorite. So no luck for the Nets, at least not from this angle.
Before the Ohio State men’s basketball team could make its game against Chicago State look easy, they made it puzzlingly hard. Such exertion ultimately made for little more than a speed bump for the No. 10 team in the country, though. After an exceptionally woeful shooting performance doomed the Buckeyes against No. 6 Kansas Sunday, Thad Matta’s crew handled the Cougars, 87-44, in its last non-conference pillow fight before Big Ten play. This particular triumph against Chicago State (3-12) Saturday came in similar form and flavor to OSU’s first nine wins. The Buckeyes (10-2), which shot just 25 percent from the floor in the second half of their game against the Jayhawks, had little trouble connecting against an overmatched opponent. But it didn’t come without a customary sluggish start. “We had a couple guys who weren’t ready to play today,” Matta said. “That was obvious.” And while such lack of preparation hardly was cause for panic for the Buckeyes, it made for an uneasy tone in front of a sleepy Schottenstein Center. Almost inexplicably, even after some players vowed to work harder at creating their own shot in Friday interviews, OSU settled for deep-albeit often wide-open-3-point tries early before seeming to realize that perhaps playing the team with the worst record in the Great West conference shouldn’t be so taxing. Chicago State’s zone defense, a brand admittedly not typically employed by the Cougars, tempted and baited OSU into taking jump shots. “I’m sure we did surprise them,” Cougars coach Tracy Dildy said. “I’m sure they watched film and they hardly saw any zone.” For about the first 12 minutes of the half, it seemed to be working. Against the zone, junior guard Aaron Craft said OSU “started chucking up 3s.” “We got kind of antsy at times,” Craft, who had 10 points and six assists, said. The Buckeyes, much like they did in a 2-of-18 jaunt from behind the arc against Kansas, clunked their way to a 2-of-9 outing from the 3-point line in the first half. Conversely, the long ball might’ve been the only thing offensively keeping Dildy’s squad in the contest. Then came OSU junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.’s moment of clarity, whose trio of long balls were met with the back of the iron and exasperated claps. “After I shot that third 3 and it didn’t go down, I told myself stop shooting 3s,” Smith Jr., who had 13 points, said. Matta’s crew seemed to start following suit. The Buckeyes, which found that they were far better slashing and sharing the ball through the zone, finished the half on a 23-10 run before connecting on five of its first six possessions in the second half. The 3-point shots, which had been kind to the Cougars early, weren’t falling anymore and OSU made certain to turn their misfortunes into points of their own off of swift play in transition and crisp ball movement. By the 10-minute mark of the second half, the contest, which started with the same shooting ailments that plagued the Buckeyes against the Jayhawks, turned into a comical battle to see if OSU could surpass the 70-point mark, which guarantees free small French fries from McDonald’s for each of the 16,881 in attendance. Back were the theatrics. Back were the dunks from sophomore forward Sam Thompson, who effortlessly floated toward the basket for an alley-oop late in the game that felt like a glorified shootaround. Freshman guard Amedeo Della Valle did his part too, and drained 3-of-4 3-pointers to push the Buckeyes’ lead to 45 points with 2:18 to play in the contest. Much how they had routed similar opponents like Albany, Northern Kentucky, Long Beach State and Savannah State and UNC Asheville, the Buckeyes proved their dominion over teams almost certainly inferior to them. With Big Ten play starting Wednesday against Nebraska, though, OSU likely needs to shore up alarming areas of concern after dropping its only two games to quality opponent in Kansas and Duke on Nov. 28. Rocking the Cougars, likely, didn’t answer any of those questions. Regardless, conference play knocks at the door. “Every night is gonna be fight night,” said OSU junior forward Deshaun Thomas. OSU is set to face Nebraska Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
Sophomore guard Cait Craft (13) walks off the court during a timeout in a game against Iowa Jan. 19 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 81-74.Credit: Ryan Robey / For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s basketball team (12-9, 2-3) is currently on a two-game losing streak, but it has a chance to gain ground in the conference standings by notching a win against Big Ten rival Michigan (13-5, 4-1) Thursday.The Buckeyes are currently tied for seventh in the Big Ten with Indiana, Northwestern and Wisconsin, while the Wolverines are tied for first place with Penn State and in-state rival Michigan State.In the two teams’ first meeting this season, Michigan won against OSU, 64-49, in Columbus Jan. 5, in a game where offense was hard to come by. The Buckeyes only managed 13 first-half points, a performance that coach Kevin McGuff described as “ugly.”“We did not play well offensively,” McGuff said. “They had a good defensive game plan and we did not react well.”The Buckeyes shot just 31.3 percent from the field in the Michigan loss but showed improvement in that category during Sunday’s loss to Iowa, in which they shot 49.2 percent.Despite a better shooting performance against the Hawkeyes, the feeling in the locker room was still one of disappointment, sophomore guard Cait Craft said.“Lately, the games that we keep coming up short in … it is like we are not even there,” Craft said, referring to the team’s tendency to start slow. “To keep coming back and coming up just a little bit short is disappointing for everybody.”Craft’s comments pertained to the Iowa game in particular, since the Buckeyes dug themselves a 17-point hole and spent the entire game trying to catch up, ultimately losing 81-74.Although the team has been getting off to slow starts because of poor shooting, redshirt-junior guard Amy Scullion said she and her teammates need to keep moving forward and not dwell on losses.“You cannot focus on the past and what we have done wrong,” Scullion said. “Coach (McGuff) put in a new offense for us … (and) moving forward, we are going to try to get a lot more dribble penetration.”OSU has seen success when it rebounds effectively and is 10-0 on the season when outrebounding opponents. Consequently, rebounding well against Michigan during Thursday night’s matchup looks to be a focal point for the team.“It is something that we are always conscience of,” McGuff said. “That will be a big deal for us this week.”While the Buckeyes struggled offensively in their first matchup against Michigan, their defense did hold the Wolverines to more than eight points below than their season average of 72.7 points per game.“By and large, that was not the end of the floor that was our biggest issue,” McGuff said of his team’s defense in the earlier loss to Michigan. “We need to find a way to generate more offense.”The Buckeyes are set to tip off at 7 p.m. Thursday against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.
This is basic hygiene. It’s not rocket science, it’s common senseProf Hugh Pennington More than a quarter of abattoirs fail to take basic hygiene precautions to prevent contaminated meat reaching butchers and supermarkets, it has been reported.Consumers could be at risk of acute food poisoning from exposure to E.coli, salmonella or campylobacter due to breaches identified at the slaughterhouses.Analysis of government audits at 323 abattoirs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by The Observer and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism identified failings at 86 of them.The breaches, logged during inspections by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), included instances of carcasses touching dirty factory floors while others were splashed with water potentially contaminated with faecal matter. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The newspaper said a whistleblower also reported records being falsified, raising the risk that contaminated meat had entered the food chain.When animals arrive for slaughter they are often covered in faeces and dirt from farms or transport.Under safety rules any visibly contaminated meat has to be removed from a carcass.However an expert who led a review into fatal E.coli outbreaks warned the precaution does not go far enough as microbes invisible to the naked eye could be missed.Among the bacteria in the gut of animals including cattle is E.coli O157, infection with which can cause severe food poisoning with stomach pain, bloody diarrhoea and kidney failure.The pathogen killed more 20 people during an outbreak in Scotland in 1996 and a young boy in Wales in 2005.Professor Hugh Pennington, an eminent microbiologist who chaired inquiries into both outbreaks, said the rate of failure uncovered by the investigation was unacceptable.”This is basic hygiene. It’s not rocket science, it’s common sense,” he told The Observer. “The FSA should be coming down on this like a ton of bricks. It’s very disappointing this is going on.”The main risk is E.coli O157, which my review looked into. The consequences can be catastrophic. People died.”The FSA said abattoirs that are continually non-compliant with safety precautions risked having their licences revoked.”Hygiene failures are not tolerated by the FSA, and robust enforcement action is taken in a risk based and proportionate way,” a spokesman said.”Ultimately if standards are not improving or the risk to public health is high enough, this could mean taking away a premises approval.” Show more
An NHS hospital is refusing to ban smoking on its premises because it believes doing so would put patients in danger of speeding vehicles.The bosses of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals in Dorset are defending their use of designated smoking areas despite pressure from Government health officials.The trust said it had previously tried a ban of smoking on its grounds, but that this had only forced smokers dangerously close to the adjacent main road where cars and lorries frequently travel at 50 mph. Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the campaign group ASH, said: “Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable premature death in Britain killing nearly 100,000 people a year compared to less than 2,000 who die from road traffic accidents.“The single most important change that smokers can make to improve their health is quit – Bournemouth should be doing more to support quitting not facilitating smoking.”Mr Renaut said his trust took proactive measures to persuade smokers to give up their habit. Last week Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie wrote to all NHS trusts urging them to impose total bans on their premises, despite the fact around one quarter of patients smoke.Royal Bournemouth’s stance has provoked criticism from anti smoking groups, who have pointed out that tobacco causes 50 times more deaths each year than road accidents.But the trust’s chief operating officer, Richard Renaut, said: “We currently have a number of designated smoking areas across the Trust.“If we ban smoking on our grounds altogether, as we have tried, it pushes staff, patients and visitors to smoke close to the main roads around the hospital which compromises their personal safety, especially at night.”Nearby Poole hospital is also allowing smokers to continue lighting up on their premises in designated shelters “away from the main hospital buildings”.The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which sets guidance for clinical practice, states that hospital premises, including the grounds, should remain smoke-free.An article in the British Medical Journal last month argued that allowing patients to smoke was a form of “collusion” and “misguided sympathy” on the part of hospital staff. If we ban smoking on our grounds altogether it pushes patients and visitors to smoke close to the main roadsRichard Renaut, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The veterinary nurse was later suspended and sacked from her job and the clinic contacted the Scottish SPCA over its concerns.She was charged with causing her pet unnecessary suffering, including collapse, convulsion and seizures, by injecting it with insulin on June 23, 2013.Bretman denied in court that she “took a dislike to the dog”, and claimed Florence was her “companion”. She will be sentenced next month.The charge carries a maximum penalty of a £20,000 fine or a year in jail. Her former employer Lesley Herd grew suspicious after the dog needed emergency treatment on several occasions after collapsing, twitching and vomiting. Every time, tests showed a low glucose level.Mrs Herd told the court: “The dog was fine between episodes so I really didn’t know what was going on with the dog at all, we couldn’t understand why she was having these episodes.”She added that initially Bretman did not want blood samples sent to a vet school for testing but eventually agreed to it. However, after volunteering to take the blood herself, it never arrived at the institution.Mrs Herd added: “Because of the pattern of collapse and low blood glucose on each occasion, and the fact that the dog was normal between episodes, I was suspicious insulin had been administered to the dog.”The court heard that after Bretman was given an evening off on June 2013, the dog collapsed and they came in for treatment, as Mrs Herd predicted. The spaniel was re-homed after the allegations against Bretman came to light and the court heard she had since returned to good health.Her former owner started working as a veterinary nurse in 2011 for Pet A&E, a clinic in the Kinning Park area of Glasgow which provides care for animals outside normal working hours. The spaniel has been re-homedCredit:Sprindrift An “attention seeking” veterinary nurse at a private clinic deliberately poisoned her pet dog in a bizarre case of animal cruelty that is thought to be the first of its kind to come before the courts.Georgina Bretman, 28, injected her black-and-white cocker spaniel, Florence, with insulin, which made the animal collapse and suffer convulsions and seizures.The damage was so severe that the two-year-old dog could have fallen into a coma or died.Vets at the out-of-hours practise where Bretman worked became suspicious after Florence was brought in for emergency treatment on several separate occasions, always suffering from the same unusual symptoms.Although no explanation was offered as to why she harmed her pet, Glasgow Sheriff Court was told that she was an “attention-seeker”. Georgina Bretman arriving at courtCredit:Spindrift On one occasion her employer gave Bretman an evening off, then correctly predicted that within a few hours the dog would suddenly become ill and be brought back to the surgery requiring emergency treatment.In what is understood to be the first prosecution and conviction of its kind of an owner harming their dog in such a way, Sheriff Joan Kerr found Bretman, of Giffnock, Glasgow, guilty of injecting her own dog with insulin resulting in her requiring immediate treatment to “avoid coma or death”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Scotland’s chief constable has stepped aside with immediate effect after fresh allegations of bullying were made against him.Phil Gormley is now facing two separate inquiries by the police watchdog into alleged gross misconduct after a total of three complaints about his behaviour in a matter of months.He said the latest complaint came from a colleague in the force’s senior management team and announced that he would stand down while investigations were carried out.The beleaguered chief constable said he had sought and been granted “special leave” while the claims against him were properly assessed.He also said he denied and rejected the allegations, and intended to resume his duties in the future.Mr Gormley, who has led Police Scotland since 2016, was already facing an earlier allegation of bullying from a superintendent, which emerged in July.He released a short statement saying: “I have been notified by the SPA of a complaint made against me. This complaint originates from a member of the Force Executive.“In the interests of the office of Chief Constable and the broader interests of Police Scotland, I have sought and been granted special leave to enable this matter to be properly assessed. I deny and reject the allegations and will co-operate with the SPA’s assessment and procedures. It is my intention to resume my full duties when this matter has been resolved.” The latest complaint comes from a member of the force’s senior management team, made up of officers ranked at Assistant Chief Constable, or higher, as well as the force’s deputy chief officer and the director of information and communications technology.Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, said it had taken Mr Gormley “too long” to make the right decision to temporarily stand aside but commended him for doing so.He added: “The investigation needs to be completed effectively and swiftly so that a police Scotland can move on. There is a lot to fix in Police Scotland and we need effective leadership to fix it.” Phil Gormley is now facing two inquiries by watchdogCredit:PA Iain Livingstone, one of Police Scotland’s deputy chief constables, will take over the top job while Mr Gormley is on leave.The inquiries are being carried out by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc), which is led by a former prosecutor and investigates allegations of serious misconduct.It will pass its findings to the SPA, which must hold a misconduct hearing, that could lead to dismissal, if it considers there is a case to answer.It is understood the first complaint being looked into was made by a colleague, Supt Graham McInarlin, who was the chief constable’s aide as head of executive support. Willie Rennie said Mr Gormley had finally done the right thingCredit:PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The Scottish Police Authority, which holds the force to account, said it had approved the request and would keep the decision to approve Mr Gormley’s leave request under review on a four-weekly basis. The bullying allegations are just the latest in a series of controversies that have enveloped the national force since it was created by the SNP through the controversial merger of eight regional forces. Sir Stephen House, Mr Gormley’s predecessor, stood down after the force failed to rescue a woman who lay dying in a car for three days that had crashed off one of Scotland’s busiest motorways.
The artist also said that trustees should be doing more to lobby the government for funding, so museums and galleries do not have to close to the public in order to raise money.A National Portrait Gallery press spokesperson said in a statement: “The gallery is a charity and has to self-generate over 70% of the funds needed. A key income stream is hiring out gallery spaces. Every effort is made to ensure that this activity does not impact on public access, but sometimes due to the nature and complexity of an event some closure is necessary.” Alexandra Shulman, former editor of British Vogue and former trustee of the National Portrait Gallery said it was “very sad” for the estimated 5,000 people who would have otherwise gone to the gallery today.However, she said that it is necessary for it to close in order to raise funds, and that it is important for institutions to support London Fashion Week, which is an important British business event. He explained: “We used to spend 7p in every £100 on the arts and now that’s down to about 3p. That’s just wrong.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Ms Shulman explained: “As I understand it, Erdem has hired the NPG for his fashion show, as we all know public institutions are having their funding cut and to run a fantastic gallery like the National Portrait Gallery is, you need to raise funds. The National Portrait Gallery is closed to the public today for a London Fashion Week show, in a closure which is uncommon for an institution which relies on public funding.Independent British designer Erdem Moralioglu, a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle, has hired out the gallery to showcase his work — but a leading artist has described the closure of the public gallery as a “dangerous precedent.”The National Portrait Gallery has also only announced the closure in small print on its website — which some have argued could lead to disappointed potential gallery goers.Patrick Brill, who creates art under the pseudonym Bob And Roberta Smith, is displayed in the Tate and is a lecture at London Metropolitan University, argued the government should increase funding for the arts so galleries would not have to close to the public.He argued on BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme that the situation is “Orwellian…you have to close to stay open”. “I believe that at the moment the Cezanne show, which was a paid-for show, is off, and they’re between shows so they need to find other ways of getting some revenue.” She said she guesses the show will raise a “reasonable” amount of money but warned: “I’m not saying that Erdem as an independent British designers is going to have millions — it’s not like Ralph Lauren taking it over.”Mr Smith described the decision as a “cry for help”, adding: “This is actually a pretty awful precedent, I agree with Alexandra, I don’t think it’s been done on a whim, nobody in these museums wants to close to the public, that’s why these institutions are here, to be open to the public — we own these paintings and the people’s jobs in these museums is to open the doors and get the public in to look at them.” The closure is in the small print on the website and is not advertised on the home page