THE chairman of Wiltshire Police Authority has moved to quash rumours that Wiltshire Chief Constable Brian Moore was leaving the force under a cloud.

Yesterday, the Adver reported that Mr Moore had been seconded to the UK Border Force and that he would effectively step down from his position at the end of the month.

But the Adver had been told that officers went to the WPA behind Mr Moore’s back to complain about him.

It is a rumour that WPA chairman Christopher Hoare, strenuously denies.

“There’s absolutely no stock in this at all,” he said.

“We had a call from the Home Secretary and felt in the circumstances we should let him go and utilise his skills and strengths in the national interest.”

Mr Hoare said the chief constable had been headhunted by Home Secretary Theresa May to safeguard Britain’s borders, restoring confidence in Britain’s security checks and taking charge of a revamped UK Border Force.

“The Home Secretary, on behalf of the Home Office, asked us whether we could release Brian Moore to do this, as he is contracted to us,” said Mr Hoare.

“We thought about it and as his contract ends in December we decided to release him to do very important national work, which he is well qualified to do.

“We were already looking ahead to the succession plans, which will take place later this year.”

Mr Hoare added: “It wasn’t easy for us and we gave it careful thought but we have a strong chief officer team with a strong plan for the rest of the year.”

Deputy Chief Constable Patrick Geenty will take over until an appointment is made by Wiltshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner, who will be elected to a four-year term in November.

Mr Moore will take over the new Border Force, which will be split from the UK Border Agency, on March 1.

The move on Monday came as Home Secretary Theresa May gave a scathing assessment of the UKBA’s shortcomings, saying security checks had been suspended regularly since at least 2007.

She said the UKBA had gone ‘over and beyond’ the relaxation of controls which had been approved by ministers.

The former head, Brodie Clark, quit his 40-year career in the Home Office in November amid the row.

Mrs May told MPs: “I do not believe the answer to the very significant problems exposed in the Vine Report is just a series of management changes.

“The Border Force needs a whole new management culture.

“There is no getting away from the fact that UKBA, of which the Border Force is part, has been a troubled organisation since it was founded in 2008.”

From March 1 the Border Force will be split from the UKBA and become a distinct law enforcement body accountable to ministers.