Criticism “extremely unusual”

Posted By: June 01, 2016

Suzanne McGonagle. Irish News (Belfast). Wednesday, June 1, 2016


THE public criticism of a secretary of state by a former police chief is “extremely unusual”, a leading commentator has said.

Brian Feeney, pictured, last night said Sir Hugh Orde’s strongly worded remarks about Theresa Villiers’ support for Brexit were “quite remarkable”.

It comes after Sir Hugh, who served as PSNI chief constable for seven years, said Ms. Villiers “continues to keep her head firmly stuck in a peat bog” on border control issues related to Brexit.

Mr. Feeney said he believed it was rare for a former police chief to contradict a secretary of state in such a public manner.

“I can’t remember ever before a former chief constable and you have also to remember he is a former head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, coming out and flatly contradicting a secretary of state,” he said.

“It is extremely unusual, in fact, it is quite remarkable.

“He is talking from an operational point of view, he’s talking from experience on operational matters and she has nothing to set against that.

“She is about the only person who believes that goodwill will see all this through, she is making assertions on absolutely no basis at all, where as he is giving the benefit of his experience.

“It is also clear that she is not operating under any guidance

at all.”