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Minutes from the discussion reveal Anderton felt unfairly treated by the BBC who 'had edited his radio interview very heavily' and misrepresented his comments.

But he also appeared to have had no idea that the remarks would cause controversy.

He feels persecuted and embattled in his fight against what he sees as evil forces, not only in his Police Authority but in the country at large. to get him to see that everyone is not against him, and that he must thing of others..

and not so much of himself and his conscience." Another Home Office memo also warned that the police chief had a "possible taste for martyrdom".

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"Mr Anderton was told that some of his recent public statements had brought ridicule upon both the association and the police service and had helped fuel the case of left wing militants." He added: "He is his own worst enemy.The council, he wrote, was used to the chief constable expressing his "unusual personal views" but "on this occasion James Anderton has just gone too far"."The chief constable is irresponsible and must be brought to task for what should be seen as a serious breach of discipline," he wrote.In these circumstances it could ultimately become very difficult for him to avoid taking some action himself.That would be enough of a signal that section 29 [of the Police Act, which would allows chief constables to be removed] is not totally off the horizion." In an effort to calm the storm, GMP chairman Stephen Murphy sought to rein in the police chief from further controversial remarks.

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