AN inquiry into whether six officers at Cleveland Police had racially discriminated against a former firearms officer has found there is no case to answer.

PC Nadeem Saddique – who last night branded the investigation a ‘whitewash’ – won a £457,000 payout from the force three years ago after an employment tribunal ruled that he had suffered racial discrimination in his job.

He was a firearms and VIP protection officer for high-profile figures such as Tony Blair and members of the Royal Family.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched an investigation into the conduct of the individual officers named in the tribunal – and has now found there is no case to answer on every point.

Mr Saddique declined to cooperate with the IOPC investigation after initially trying to help, as he said he ‘lost faith’ in the process.

The employment tribunal in 2015 had heard he was referred to as 'just a P***' by superiors and insulted by colleagues.

He alleged that, as the only Asian member of the firearms unit, colleagues were plotting to force him out. He also said that he was unfairly treated when he was removed from VIP protection duties.

Other allegations, which were investigated by the IOPC, included that a fellow firearms officer was displaying a racist English Defence League sticker on his gun holster, and that another armed officer had said “let’s go and shoot some P*** kids’.

Last year Cleveland Police was described as ‘institutionally racist’ in evidence to a Government report on discrimination in policing. And The Northern Echo reported in 2012 that then-Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer had admitted there were ‘elements of institutional racism’ within the force.

The IOPC said its latest investigation had not looked at matters of institutional racism, but on the conduct of individual officers, to see if there needed to be any misconduct proceedings.

The IOPC publishes its findings today, the first of a three-pronged inquiry into allegations of corruption and discrimination at Cleveland Police.

It has not ‘revisited’ the legal matters determined by former PC Saddique’s tribunal but investigated the actions of six officers, including Superintendent Jon Green.

The IOPC identified 24 allegations that Mr Saddique was racially discriminated against and victimised by these officers during the course of his duties, but concluded there was ‘insufficient evidence’ on which any of those officers could be sanctioned for misconduct.

IOPC Interim Regional Director David Ford said: “These were serious, wide-ranging allegations that clearly required investigation.

“Our investigation gathered a large body of evidence, some of which was not available to the Employment Tribunal. Having carefully considered all of this we have concluded that there is insufficient evidence, on which a reasonable tribunal, could find misconduct or gross misconduct for any individual officer.

“I hope this thorough report demonstrates the complexities of this case, and the need for each element to be given careful consideration.”

Mr Saddique, who retired from the force, said last night: “I believe that the whole investigation and methodology is flawed and consequently the overall findings.”

He said the National Black Police Association had highlighted the seriousness of the case and said investigators should have attended his employment tribunal.

“The Employment Tribunal findings are Judicial Findings of Fact and remain completely unchallenged,” he added.

He said the senior investigating officer at the IOPC had changed at least six times for this case and added he had fully engaged with the IOPC for 18 months before losing faith.

He said: “Any assertion to the contrary is completely false. This 'investigation' has been a sham – a whitewash.”

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Arundale of Cleveland Police said: “The IOPC has concluded that there is no case to answer for misconduct. We hope that, for the wellbeing of all those concerned, this draws a line under a matter which has been ongoing since 2015.

“We will continue to assist the IOPC in relation to ongoing matters linked thematically to this investigation as it is important that these are resolved in as timely a manner as possible due to their continued impact on all of those involved.”