Labour leader calls for police commissioner to step down

Under-fire police commissioner Steve Turner has faced calls to step down from Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 5:59 pm
Steve Turner.

The Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland denies a historic sexual assault allegation dating back to the 1980s which has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

On Tuesday, the Tory police boss repeated his intention to stay on in his role – denying the allegation and adding the “highly confidential and damaging” allegation that he was responsible for a serious sexual attack was released for “political gain”.

Now Sir Keir has joined Labour colleagues calling on the police boss to step aside.

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In a radio interview, the Labour leader said: “This is a test for Steve Turner and he should step down.

“It’s also a test for the Conservative Party.

“When there’s a serious investigation like this, the attitude of the political parties and the Prime Minister matters, and he should step down.

“If you take other examples in relation to the Labour Party, we have always acted swiftly.

“And the idea that somehow it’s for the public good for him to stay in office, I just think is completely wrong.

“We’ve seen this before.”

Last week it emerged Cleveland’s Police and Crime Panel had referred the sexual assault allegation to the police watchdog.

The IOPC says it has now started a “managed investigation” into the claim which would be carried out by a police force from another area, while under its control.

Mr Turner believes the investigation could continue until 2024.