The Home Office and the Police Federation are at loggerheads over the choice of former rail regulator Tom Winsor as the preferred Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales.
Dr Tim Brain, former chief constable of Gloucester, says the choice is "exactly in line" with government policy on police leadership.
Speaking to the Today programme he believes it is a "very symbolic" and "hugely provocative" decision.
The criminologist and filmmaker Roger Graef says the move is effectively a "declaration of war".
The "real problem", he told Jim Naughtie, is that policing is changing very fast and you need "very smart people who really understand how difficult this is".
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