Scotland’s most senior police officer is facing more controversy after her top official lodged a grievance against her within weeks of her taking up her post.

Chief Constable Jo Farrell is the subject of a complaint by Police Scotland’s deputy chief officer David Page, the most senior civilian member of the force’s executive team.

It is understood Mr Page filed the grievance against Ms Farrell shortly after she arrived at Police Scotland in October and that he is currently on sick leave.

The complaint is being handled by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), the body which oversees Police Scotland and its £1.5billion budget.

The Scottish Tories urged the ministers and the force to "come clean about exactly what is going on".

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In November, Ms Farrell, the first woman to lead Police Scotland, had to apologise for an “error of judgment” after having a police officer drive her 120 miles to her home in England.

The trip from Edinburgh to Northumberland, which took place on October 20 just 11 days after she started at Police Scotland, followed her train being cancelled during Storm Babet.

It was reported that she was accompanied by Gary Ridley, the chief finance officer at her previous force, Durham Constabulary, and that he was later dropped off in Gateshead.

Mr Ridley was said to have been advising Ms Farrell “about finances and resources”.

The Scottish Sun reported Mr Ridley is also at the heart of the latest controversy, with Mr Page said to have been unhappy about Ms Farrell bringing him in as an outside adviser.

A former army intelligence officer with experience in the financial sector, Mr Page has been overseeing finance, procurement and estates at Police Scotland since 2016.

The Sun also reported Mr Page had been off work “for several months” and that there was infighting at the very top of the force. 

News of the grievance coincides with a period of upheaval for Police Scotland.

On Monday it was announced that Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham would retire on April 8.

Deputy Chief Constable Designate Fiona Taylor is also leaving the force next month, having announced her early retirement in November. 

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Tory MSP Russell Findlay said: “Since being created by the SNP government a decade ago, Police Scotland has often been accused of lacking transparency, which is unhealthy, unhelpful, and undermines public confidence.

"All public bodies have a duty to be candid about such important issues, and I would urge ministers, Police Scotland, and the SPA to come clean about exactly what is going on.”

Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur added: “The early years of the single national force were dogged by errors and a revolving door at senior level, all of which risked undermining the hard work of officers and staff. Police Scotland must not slip back into bad old habits.

"This grievance must be swiftly resolved so that the senior leadership team are all pulling in the same direction.

"At a time when the police are having to do more with less, those at the top cannot afford to be distracted from the challenges of keeping communities safe and supporting officers and staff."

The SPA, which is still dealing with the complaint from Mr Page, refused to comment.

A spokeswoman said: "The Authority does not confirm or comment on this type of enquiry. Any complaints or concerns of that nature would be confidential."