A senior police officer has told a disciplinary panel that his former Chief Constable made inappropriate remarks about him and another colleague during a visit to another force.

The witness, who cannot be named, told the misconduct hearing that another colleague had told him that Mike Veale had made an unwanted sexual remark to her when they were in a car together.

The former Chief Constable for Cleveland Police is accused of telling a female colleague to ‘go on you can touch yourself’ after reading out a complimentary email while travelling to a meeting in October 2018.

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A couple of months later, the officer, known as Witness C, said his ex-boss said ‘these two are bedfellows metaphorically or otherwise’ before laughing when talking about the two officers in front of other senior colleagues.

He told the panel that those kinds of insinuations had caused problems for other officers in the past and believed that his ex-boss had overstepped the mark on two occasions before he raised his concerns.

“He was suggesting that we were in an intimate relationship outside of work,” he said. When asked why he thought the phrase ‘bedfellows’ was inappropriate, he said it was the use of the term ‘metaphorically or otherwise’.

Dealing with the second occurrence later the same day, the witness said: “He was again suggesting that there was more than a professional relationship between us.”

Asked by the PCC’s legal representative, Dijen Basu KC, why he raised the issue with the chief constable.

He replied: “I was acutely aware of the damage that those types of insinuations and rumours could have on both of us.”

Under cross-examination from Mr Veale’s barrister, Peter Wright KC, the witness accepted that he hadn’t made a note of the conversation he had with his colleague in October 2018.

Mr Wright put it the witness that the ‘bedfellows’ comment did not take place in the way that he had put in his statement. The witness, simply replied: “It did take place.”

The female witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave her evidence behind closed doors after members of the public and press were asked to leave the hearing.

Sara Fenoughty, the legally qualified chair of the tribunal, had banned reporting on any of the evidence from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s until all of its witnesses have been heard in the gross misconduct hearing.

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The panel had heard how the 57-year-old has denied glancing at the woman and making the sexual comment but accepts he may have made a joke about ‘pinching herself’ because she was ‘in the presence of such a well-regarded chief constable’.

Before he was chief constable of Cleveland Police, Mr Veale led a controversial inquiry into sexual allegations against the late prime minister Sir Edward Heath when he was in charge of Wiltshire Police.

The former top cop was previously investigated after he was accused of smashing a mobile phone while playing golf in an attempt to destroy evidence.

The hearing continues.