Conspiracy Milieu Backs Mike Veale after Resignation as Cleveland Chief Constable

From the Daily Telegraph:

The chief constable in charge of the disastrous Edward Heath sex abuse inquiry has resigned in disgrace less than a year into his new job amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards two female officers.

Mike Veale quit “with immediate effect” after being accused of serious misconduct just ten months after taking up his new post as head of Cleveland Police.

Veale was the third Chief Constable of Cleveland Police since Sean Price was dismissed for misconduct in 2012, and it is reasonable to suppose that the force is still struggling with corruption. As such, we should be cautious about taking the allegations at face value, even though Veale should never have been appointed in the first place: he was brought in by Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger despite being under investigation for lying about how he came to smash his work mobile phone, and it has now been reported that Coppinger only acquired a formal job reference for him retrospectively. (1)

Naturally, for the conspiracy milieu, the allegations against Veale are a plot by “the establishment” to discredit the man who exposed a former Prime Minister as a child sex abuser, perhaps even involved in Satanic Ritual Abuse. The journalist Mark Watts – who apparently had nothing else to Tweet about while in Hereford yesterday – wrote that

Any truth to the “new allegations” against Mike Veale? I do not know, but he has long planned on resigning b/c of establishment campaign against him. The price of investigating Ted Heath rather than the usual pretence of “leaving no stone unturned” while busily covering up.

If this is true, the situation is even more problematic for Coppinger. When exactly did Veale make this decision, and how come Watts apparently knew about it long before the PCC or Veale’s colleagues? Watts previously criticised the investigation into Veale’s lie about the mobile phone, suggesting that showed “the authorities are far more worried about a chief constable’s explanation for a broken mobile phone than another chief constable’s alleged role in child sexual abuse” – this was a cryptic reference to allegations that were published on SKWAWKBOX in 2017, which I discussed here.

Also backing Veale is Jon Wedger, a former Metropolitan Police officer who is now deeply embedded in the fringe-right conspiracy milieu. In a Twitter exchange with Richard Hoskins – a consultant who blew the whistle on the Satanic Ritual Abuse aspect of Veale’s Heath investigation – Wegder wrote that “I know Mike personally – he is one of the bravest and most honest cops I’ve ever met. And I trust and have faith in God that the truth about Ted Heath will most defiantly [sic] come out.” Wedger has previously mentioned having private links with Veale, although so far they have never been confirmed by Veale himself. (2)

No word yet, though, from, from Andrew Bridgen, a rent-a-quote MP who has long been a vocal supporter of Veale. Details about the Heath investigation were provided to Brigden by Veale ahead of the publication of the final report – Veale justified his strategic leaking on the spurious grounds that Bridgen was a “stakeholder”, and this seems to be the route by which Veale received sympathetic coverage from the Mail on Sunday‘s political correspondent Simon Walters.

One sensational headline from 2017 – and picked up by other media outlets – was “Police: If Ted Heath was alive today we’d quiz him under caution on child abuse claims”, presented as if this were a proof of a case to answer rather than a routine procedure which requires a very low threshold after a complaint has been made. It is pernicious for the media to keep on implying that police interviews and arrests indicate guilt or even strong suspicion – a mindset in evidence in the more recent “Gatwick drone” media fiasco.

By a curious coincidence, that particular article on Heath was published the day after Veale smashed his phone.

Footnotes

1. Coppinger’s personal enthusiasm for Veale demonstrates the absurdity of PCCs, who make friendly and compliant public appearances with Chief Constables (e.g. here) while also being tasked with holding them to account when complaints are made. In this instance, Coppinger referred Veale to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, but we can guess that he did so with reluctance.

2. Wedger was recently involved with a group of “police whistleblowers”, although concerns have since been raised about him and his friend Maggie Oliver, a former officer lauded for her involvement in investigating the Rochdale grooming gang (and, bizarrely, more recently working in panto). Oliver provided an op-ed in praise of Veale in October 2017, published as a supplement to a softball interview with Veale by Walters.

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