AN underfire police boss has admitted receiving a police caution 20 years ago whilst working for a supermarket.

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner was urged to resign after Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald used Parliamentary privilige to raise concerns about the Conservative PCC's past.

The Labour MP made the remarks during a debate on Election Reform and has called on Mr Turner to resign imediately.

Tonight, Mr Turner has published an open letter to give his side of the story after pressure mounted for him to stand down from the role he won in May's elections.

He wrote: "The last several hours have been amongst the hardest I have faced in my life as public allegations about a very private matter were made about me without any notice on the floor of the House of Commons by Andy McDonald MP.

"He made the declaration in Parliament when I was attending a civic awards ceremony in Middlesbrough with my family. It was deeply humiliating to sit there and to discover what had been said and to subsequently have to leave and deal with the matter late at night.

"Last night I issued a response to MP Andy McDonald’s statement in Parliament, specifically that the allegations he made about me were inaccurate. Today I want to take the opportunity to provide further information and clarification.

The Northern Echo: Cleveland PCC Steve TurnerCleveland PCC Steve Turner (Image: The Northern Echo)

"In the late 1990s, I accepted a police caution in relation to an event at a supermarket store where I was employed. I voluntarily tendered my resignation shortly afterwards, and to reiterate I was not ‘sacked’ from this position.

"This challenging life lesson is something that has remained private over the years, so as not to impact on my family and friends.

"I have diligently followed all the relevant rules governing the appointment of PCCs and can confirm that this historic incident is not something which disbarred me from standing (or remaining) as PCC and occurred over 22 years ago.

"In fact, the insight it provided me on how people can make stupid mistakes informs the way I operate as a PCC. Indeed, I invest a significant amount of money in the rehabilitation of people in this area of work as a result of my insight - people make mistakes and I made mine decades ago. Since that time, I continued to forge a successful career in the retail industry and worked hard for many local communities, as a parliamentary employee and now as a PCC.

"I trust that the people of Teesside place this minor incident which occurred in the last century in its proper context; a stupid error and they support me in getting on with the job to which I was elected in a landslide.

"My time as PCC is certainly not at an end. I am close to publishing my first Police and Crime Plan, which sets out ten key priorities to improve policing and community safety across Cleveland. My immediate priority is to drive forward our response to serious violence and it’s impact on the lives of young people and their families."

The Northern Echo: Middlesbrough Labour MP Andy McDonaldMiddlesbrough Labour MP Andy McDonald

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday night, the Middlesbrough Labour MP said: "On the topic of Police and Crime Commissioner elections, is she as staggered as I am to learn that the Conservative Party’s PCC for Cleveland, Steve Turner, who was elected earlier this year, was in fact sacked in the early 2000s for systematic theft of merchandise from his then-employer, Safeway supermarket, at their Norton store?"

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