MIKE Veale has resigned from his post as Chief Constable of Cleveland Police with immediate effect.

He was appointed last year by Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger following controversy over an inquiry he oversaw while at Wiltshire Police.

Last year he was investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after he smashed his phone with a golf club.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has confirmed that allegations of a 'serious nature' were made against Mr Veale and he resigned with immediate effect on Friday.

Mr Coppinger said: “I would like to make an announcement about a change in leadership at Cleveland Police.

“My office has been made aware of allegations about the behaviour of Chief Constable Mike Veale.

“On Friday, January 18, Mr Veale resigned with immediate effect.

“Due to the serious nature of the allegations, the matter has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

“I am proud to oversee a police force where such allegations are always taken seriously. It is important that the appropriate processes are allowed to take effect and as a result, I am unable to comment further on this matter.

“Arrangements to secure an Interim Chief Constable are in the advanced stages and an announcement will be made later today. The current Cleveland Police leadership structure remains unchanged.

“As an organisation, Cleveland Police has undergone a comprehensive programme of transformation and improvement, which has been recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.

“I am determined to ensure this progress will continue as I look to recruit a permanent replacement.

“I want to reassure our communities that the same dedicated and compassionate officers and staff, who bravely serve the people of Cleveland every day, will continue to work hard to keep you safe.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has called for Cleveland's PCC Barry Coppinger to resign.

An IOPC spokesperson confirmed that an investigation has been launched in the senior officer.

He said: “We can confirm that we recently received a referral from Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner concerning the conduct of Chief Constable Mike Veale. We are assessing the information we have received to decide what further action is required.”

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: "If ever there was a demonstration of how inept and useless PCC Barry Coppinger is, this is it. Our frontline officers and the public deserve better. Much better! Barry should resign immediately. What a shower."

And Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP added: "This is extraordinary news and hugely disappointing.  I had hoped that Chief Constable Veale would be able to deliver a much-needed change of culture at Cleveland Police, but today those hopes have been dashed.

“In my eighteen months as the MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, this is the second Chief Constable who has resigned.  There are only so many of these incidents the hard-working officers and staff of the Force should have to put up with, let alone the public they serve.

“I think we now need a root-and-branch review of the future of policing in Cleveland, with all options on the table.”

And Hartlepool MP Mike Hill added: "Hartlepool has been the focus of national news recently where it was exposed that our Police were dangerously under resourced and Crime was on the increase as a consequence.

"That national exposure led to an immediate meeting between me and Mike Veale and the beginning of a much tougher approach to visible policing and tackling crime in the Town. He was certainly determined to re- focus efforts on tackling crime head on and building a bigger presence on our streets.

"I make no judgement other than to say the new Interim Chief really does need to carry on with that determination to clamp down heavily on crime in our Town."