Leicestershire police chief Matt Baggott has been appointed as the new Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The 50-year-old was the unanimous choice of the Northern Ireland Policing Board's seven-strong interview panel to take over from outgoing chief Hugh Orde, who has held the post for the past seven years.

The other candidates were Jim Gamble, chief executive of Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Durham police chief Jon Stoddart and head of West Mercia police Paul West.

Policing Board chairman Barry Gilligan said he had exactly the credentials they were looking for.

'He has been a champion of policing in the community that goes to the very core of what this policing board is all about,' he said.

Mr Gilligan also commended Mr Baggott's record in managing a police force on a tight budget.

He is due to take on the £184,000-a-year (€214,000) post in the autumn.

Mr Baggott, who is current president of the Christian Police Association, said he was thrilled to take on the job.

'I am absolutely delighted to have been given this opportunity to lead the PSNI and serve the community as Chief Constable,' he said.

'The PSNI has come through a significant change programme and I look forward to using my experience to build on the progress to date in the delivery of a professional policing service to all the people of Northern Ireland.'