Page last updated at 20:17 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 21:17 UK

Orde rebuked for 'tribal' remarks

Sir Hugh Orde
Sir Hugh is reported to have said the board had "gone a bit tribal"

The chief constable has spoken personally to the chairman of the Policing Board to clarify critical remarks he is said to have made.

Sir Hugh Orde is reported to have said the board had "gone a bit tribal" at a breakfast briefing with public relations professionals in Dublin.

Alex Maskey of Sinn Fein said he should have made such comments to the Policing Board.

However, a police spokeswoman said the remarks had been taken out of context.

Sir Hugh is also alleged to have said elected board members were more interested in political debate than policing issues.

The chief constable also supposedly said he got "more strategic questions" from recruits than members of the Policing Board.

Mr Maskey said he was surprised by the comments.

"I certainly have been at every single policing board meeting since last year," he said.

"Hugh Orde has never, ever once said to the Policing Board, 'by the way folks, you are not actually asking me the right questions, or you are not asking me the strategic questions'.

"So if he has that type of an observation to make, he should make it at the Policing Board."

A police spokeswoman said the chief constable "has spoken personally to the chairman of the Policing Board to provide clarification."


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