THE former chairman of a North-East police authority today formally pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Dave McLuckie, former chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court today.

The 51-year-old, of Linden Grove, Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, will face a trial on June 10.

The charge relates to an allegation that Mr McLuckie persuaded a man named Maurice Ward to accept responsibility for an endorsable road traffic offence in 2005 when he was vice-chairman of Cleveland Police Authority.

Shortly afterwards, Mr McLuckie was appointed as chairman of the authority.

He has been suspended from the Labour Party and stood down as chairman of the CPA in May last year.