Hartlepool's crime commissioner says he will not quit after admitting accepting police caution in 1990s
The police and crime commissioner serving Hartlepool has ruled out quitting after admitting he was cautioned by officers while working at a supermarket.
Cleveland PCC Steve Turner insisted his tenure is “certainly not at an end” in response to allegations made against him in Parliament.
Labour MP for Middlesbrough Andy McDonald used parliamentary privilege on Monday to claim Mr Turner was “sacked” by a former employer for “systematic theft”.
Parliamentary privilege enables MPs to say whatever they wish in the House of Commons without fear of being sued for defamation.
Mr McDonald said Mr Turner’s position was untenable and called for his immediate resignation.
Mr Turner, who was elected as the new police and crime commissioner in May, initially responded saying that the allegations were inaccurate.
He then released a longer open letter on Facebook he said to provide further information and clarification in which he said he was not sacked but resigned “voluntarily” from the supermarket.
Mr Turner described the caution as a “minor incident” after making a “stupid error” and asked for the public’s support to get on with the role.
He said: “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.”
Conservative Mr Turner said this has led him to invest money in rehabilitating people in the area.
He added: “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.”