POLITICAL allies of Cleveland Police's PCC have shown their support for him after he was cleared of a historic sexual assault allegation.

In Decemebr, Tory Steve Turner was accused of carrying out a sexual assault in August 1987 but after a six-month independent investigation he has been fully exonerated.

The Independent Office for Police Misconduct announced that there was no case to answer and referred its findings to the force's Crime Panel.

Read more: Cleveland PCC's speaks out on 'six months of hell' of sexual assault allegation

Mr Turner was not arrested and there was no requirement for him to be interviewed.

The Northern Echo: Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve TurnerCleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner

Welcoming the news, Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "I am delighted that Steve Turner has been unequivocally cleared by the Police of the horrendous accusations made against him.

"And while I am pleased and relieved for Steve and his family at his vindication, I remain appalled at the behaviour of the Labour Party during this episode.

"Whether it was Andy McDonald using Parliamentary privilege to bring baseless accusations into the national press or Keir Starmer making a special trip to Teesside to call for Steve to step down, this has been a concerted, nasty and highly politicised campaign.

Read more: Cleveland PCC Steve Turner cleared of sexual assault allegation as investigation closed

"This has been a deeply traumatic episode for a decent and principled man and his family, as well as awful for his friends who have had to bite our tongues to protect due process.

"Everyone who sought nothing short of destroying Steve's life owes him a huge apology today.”

The Northern Echo: Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East ClevelandSimon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

Mr Turner has spoken of his own relief after enduring six months of 'hell' while the 'heinous' allegations hung over his head.

He said the burden had taken a toll on his and his family's mental health while the independent investigation was carried out.

And Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, echoed the sentiments of his political colleague.

He said: "I can't imagine what the last few months have been like for Steve and his family and I'm so pleased that he can now finally move on and get on with the job he was elected to do.

“It is completely wrong that someone can make a baseless accusation and, because of the system by which PCCs are governed, a good man has had his name pulled through the mud. I expect all those who called for his resignation to come forward with a suitable apology.

The Northern Echo: Jacob Young, Redcar's conservative MPJacob Young, Redcar's conservative MP

"Nobody else, spuriously accused of a crime, would have their name printed in national and local newspapers without having even been arrested or charged with an offence. The Police & Crime Panel must now explain how it was that these unmerited accusations found their way into the press and I will be writing to the Chairman to seek an explanation.

“Our Police and Crime Commissioner has an unenviable job, tasked with taking Cleveland Police from the bottom of the league tables to delivering safer streets across Teesside. He has my full support in delivering on that mission.”

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