In the wake of their inquiry, the IPCC recommended that Cleveland police suspend Ch Insp Anthony Riordan, who led the investigation into Watson. But rather than suspend Riordan, Cleveland police’s assistant chief constable Sean White allowed him to retire on a full pension. Riordan told Newsnight he “strongly refutes any allegation that he acted with anything other than professionalism and integrity”.
Watson said that the size of the settlement demonstrated the urgent need to reform Cleveland police, which has been dogged by accusations of impropriety for years.
“What sticks in my throat is that millions of pounds have been wasted of taxpayers’ money at a time of supposed austerity when public services are closing down hand over fist in Middlesbrough. Millions of pounds wasted and not one police officer held to account,” he told Newsnight.