Former Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mike Veale has quit as chief executive of the police and crime commissioner’s office in Leicestershire less than two months after being confirmed in the post.

Mr Veale, who is still awaiting a disciplinary hearing following an ill-fated ten month spell with the Cleveland force in which he was accused of inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour towards staff, had previously been employed as a paid-for advisor by Leicestershire PCC Rupert Matthews.

Mr Matthews said Mr Veale felt the decision to step away from the interim role was in the best interests of his office “in light of continued, negative media coverage”.

Read more: Why frustration is growing over handling of ex-chief constable’s misconduct case

The 57-year-old, who also led a much criticised police probe ‘Operation Conifer’ into child sex allegations against former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath when in charge of Wiltshire Police, has been subject to repeated scrutiny from peers during debates in the House of Lords.

Frustrations have also been aired over what Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner has described as a “complicated” hold up in the Cleveland misconduct proceedings.

In November Mr Turner said he wanted matters concerning Mr Veale “off his desk”, but a date is yet to be set for a hearing 18 months after it was announced.

When it does eventually convene it will rule on what action should have been taken had Mr Veale still been employed by Cleveland Police.

This could include a potential range of outcomes from advice being given, to grounds for dismissal, potentially barring him from taking another police post.


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In 2018 Mr Veale made headlines when he admitted smashing his golf club in frustration at media articles being written about Operation Conifer, destroying a work mobile phone in his golf bag.

He confessed to giving a different account of the incident later to Wiltshire Police colleagues, telling them the handset had been run over in a car park.