The Chief Executive of the Charities Regulator is to step down in October to take up a new position with the Mental Health Commission.

The Chairperson of the Charities Regulatory Authority, Patrick Hopkins, has confirmed that the board received the resignation of CEO John Farrelly.

In a statement, the body said Mr Farrelly is to take up the role of Chief Executive with the Mental Health Commission next month.

Mr Hopkins said a recruitment process to fill the now vacant role is under way.

He said that Mr Farrelly "made a very significant contribution to the development of the Charities Regulator over the past three years."

In September 2016 the Charities Regulator received its powers under the Charities Act 2009 (Part 4) to protect charitable organisations.

These include powers to investigate the affairs of charitable organisations, to require production of documents and to impose intermediate sanctions.

"John's experience as a regulator ensured the Charities Regulator used these powers  proportionately and effectively," Mr Hopkins said.