Cleveland PCC has admitted he received a police caution while working at a supermarket

Cleveland PCC Steve Turner Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Cleveland's Police and Crime Commissioner, Steve Turner, says he will not step down following allegations made in the House of Commons on Monday.

In an open letter released today, Conservative Turner admitted he received a police caution in the late 1990s while employed by a supermaket.

He says he voluntarily resigned from this employment.

It comes after Labour MP for Middlesbrough, Andy McDonald, accused Turner of stealing from a former employer.

The letter

Today, Turner took to social media to address the situation. In an open letter, he said it was "deeply humiliating" and that "the last several hours have been amongst the hardest" of his life.

It reads: "Today I want to take the opportunity to provide further information and clarification. 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."

McDonald claimed that Turner's position would now be untenable. However, the PCC says the incident gave him insight into "how people can make stupid mistakes" which has in turned informed the way he operates as Commissioner.

The letter continues: "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."

The allegations

On Monday evening, using qualified privilege in the House of Commons, Labour MP for Middlesbrough Andy McDonald addressed a Labour colleague and 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?"

He continued: "Does she agree with me that it is totally untenable for someone who was engaged in such criminal behaviour to hold the position of PCC and he must resign from his role with immediate effect?"