'This is a coordinated witch hunt': Cleveland PCC won't resign after historical allegation

Cleveland Police and Crime Commission Steve Turner says he'll only resign from his role if he's charged, following an allegation of an historical sexual offence.

He told ITV Tyne Tees he's been given 'no further information' regarding the allegation - which he denies - and is understood to date back to the 1990s.

Mr Turner, who was elected just six months ago, said if he did step aside under these circumstances would mean that "anybody in elected public life that received an allegation against them, no matter how unsubstantiated" would have to do the same - a concept he labelled "political carnage".

On a practical level, he added that there isn't actually an option to 'step aside' - it's either carry on, or resign completely, which he isn't prepared to do.

He's also been very vocal about his option that this allegation was leaked for "political gain", describing it as a "coordinated witch hunt" and an attempt to "destroy a democratic process". This, he says, has been a "trauma" for his family.

Mr Turner has also faced mounting pressure to resign after it emerged he had received a caution for handling stolen goods 22 years ago - something he "fully accepts", and says he didn't have to declare before taking up his role.

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is currently underway.