THE chief constable of Wiltshire Police has tonight denied he is planning to resign amid reports that he may walk away with a pension pot of up to £2 million.

The Times reported today that Mike Veale, 50, who has come under fire over his handling of the investigation into alleged child abuse by Sir Edward Heath, is said to have told colleagues he wishes to quit after 33 years at the force.

The newspaper wrote: “His salary is just under £150,000 and he is entitled to a final-salary pension. Experts said he could take about £80,000 a year after retirement.

“A conservative estimate of an equivalent pension pot was £1.6 million, but the amount is likely to be closer to £2 million.”

However, in a statement released this evening, Mr Veale said he was as committed as ever to the force.

The statement said: “I have been with Wiltshire Police for coming up to 13 years and my commitment to the force I lead and the communities we serve is as strong today as it ever has been.

“Indeed, my passion and enthusiasm for policing remains as equally high as it was when I joined the service some 33 years ago.

“The suggestion that I am about to quit the force is simply not true.

“I remain fully committed to Wiltshire Police and I am exceptionally proud to serve as its Chief Constable.”

The Times reported that Mr Veale applied for a new job just a week before he published his report into Operation Conifer, the investigation into former Tory prime minister Ted Heath.

Mr Veale has received criticism for the investigation, thought by some to have been unnecessary.

Although he has enjoyed the support of Wiltshire and Swindon’s police and crime commissioner, Angus Macpherson, it was claimed that Mr Veale did not tell his boss he had applied for a role helping to run the strategic command course for future leaders.

The Times report continued: “Since the release of the Heath findings, Mr Veale is said to have been frustrated by a lack of police support from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) despite him taking on an inquiry involving allegations from other force areas.

"One source said he felt that he had been ‘hung out to dry’.”

Operation Conifer ended on August 31 after two years and a total cost of £1.5 million.

Wiltshire Police concluded that Ted Heath would have been questioned over historic sex allegations if he were still alive.

The allegations for which he would have been questioned include the rape of an 11-year-old boy, the indecent assault of a 10-year-old boy and the indecent assault of a 15-year-old boy during three “paid sexual encounters” said to have occurred between 1961 and 1992.

Earlier this year, Mike Veale wrote an open letter to the public to “set the record straight” about the investigation.

“When I took on this investigation I knew it would attract intense scrutiny. I also recognised it could potentially damage confidence in Wiltshire Police,” he said.

But, he stressed: “I will not be buckling under pressure to not investigate or to conclude the investigation prematurely.”