TEESSIDE’S Tory MPs and mayor have been urged to call for the resignation of Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner.

The under-fire commissioner for Cleveland is facing calls to resign after it emerged he is facing a criminal investigation over an allegation of serious sexual assault.

The PCC was already subject to a referral being assessed by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) after Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald used Parliamentary privilege to accuse him of theft from a Safeway store in Norton, Teesside where he worked in the 1990s.

Read more: Cleveland PCC Steve Turner responds to sexual assault claims

In a letter addressed to MPs Simon Clarke, Matt Vickers, Jacob Young and Jill Mortimer and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, Mr McDonald made a request for them to publicly call for his resignation.

Mr McDonald said: “It has not escaped anyone’s attention that hitherto, you have effectively and collectively been silent on this issue to date, and I ask you reflect on your collective and passive approach to this most serious of matters.”

Read more: Steve Turner: Labour chief calls for Cleveland PCC to be suspended

Adding that it was “unconscionable” that Mr Turner should continue in his post, he said: “Politics is quite rightly under very close scrutiny both local and nationally and we as elected representatives are charged with doing the right thing and trying to restore the tarnished reputation of our representative politics.”

He added: “Here on Teesside it is imperative that the public have faith and confidence in their elected representatives and that they have confidence in the policing of their towns, their communities and wider environs.

"But Mr Turner continuing in his current role totally undermines and such confidence and his failure to step down not only demeans his important public office but is a complete betrayal of the good and hardworking police and civilian staff of Cleveland Police.

“All of you were quite content to endorse Steve Turner and hold him up as a person in whom the electorate of Cleveland could have confidence.

“Sadly, your continued silence on these matters in now deafening.”

Tory politicians have been asked for their views but are yet to comment on the position.

Mr Turner said he was appalled by the allegation in a statement last week.

He said: "I am appalled at the allegation and the connotations around it.

"That said, I genuinely believe that it is right and proper that all allegations are taken seriously and that an independent investigation takes place. 

"Due to my role within Cleveland it is inappropriate for me to comment further and appropriate for this investigation to be carried out by an independent police force once appointed.

"I will cooperate fully, as will my office."

The IOPC confirmed it has begun its investigation into the allegation. 

A statement read: "An IOPC spokesperson said: “Any allegation that a criminal offence may have been committed by a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) must be referred by the appropriate authority to the IOPC to determine whether the matter should be investigated.

“We have now begun a managed investigation following a complaint referral from the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel regarding the alleged conduct of the current PCC prior to taking up the role.

“This investigation, which follows an allegation of a serious non-recent criminal offence, will be carried out by a force from another area under our direction and control.

“We have contacted the complainant to make them aware of our involvement. As this investigation is at a very early stage, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”