Northern Ireland Policing Board today has declared it has no confidence in the leadership of a special unit set up to review unsolved murders.

Management arrangements are also to be reviewed and cases involving soldiers suspended.

The decision announced in Belfast followed a devastating report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

The report claimed the Historical Enquiries Team was not rigorous enough when investigating killings by troops.

The Board has also established a dedicated working group to take forward and oversee the implementation of all of the recommendations in the HMIC report.

A statement this afternoon said: "This group, comprising political and independent membership, will also review PSNI failures to respond promptly to issues raised in relation to the work of the HET."

The group will meet next week to begin this work and will report on progress in the autumn.

Yesterday, a report about the Police Service in Northern Ireland's HET stated cases involving the State had been treated with less rigour than other investigations and that there were serious shortcomings in its policy.

The need to investigate past controversies of The Troubles has inhibited its capacity to concentrate on present day crimes.

The HET was set up in 2005 to re-examine over 3,000 murders from The Troubles.

170 people work in the HET which employs retired police officers and civilians from Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK.

Four years ago University of Ulster academic, Dr Patricia Lundy, questioned the HET's work practices.

She claimed that former soldiers were being given preferential treatment.