MP uses Commons privilege to accuse police commissioner of theft

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A Labor MP has used parliamentary privilege to claim the Conservative police and crime commissioner has been sacked for stealing from her previous employer.

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Andy McDonald accused Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner of “systematic theft of business” from a former employer, Safeway Supermarkets.

During a House of Commons debate involving the election bill, the MP for Middlesboro called for Mr Turner to resign, saying his position was now “untenable”.

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Parliamentary privileges enable MPs to make statements in the House of Commons without fear of prosecution.

Intervening on Shadow Cabinet Office minister Kat Smith, Mr McDonald said: “On the subject of the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, is she as shocked as I am to learn that the Conservative Party’s PCC for Cleveland, Steve Turner , who was elected earlier this year, was actually sacked in the early 2000s from his then-employer, Safeway Supermarkets, for systematic theft of merchandise at his Norton store?

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“Does he agree with me that it is completely incompetent for a person indulging in such criminal behavior to hold the post of PCC and he should resign his role with immediate effect?”

Ms Smith replied: “I am astonished to learn, as my honorable friend, that Conservative Party police and the Cleveland crime commissioner were dismissed for theft from a Safeway supermarket.

“And I certainly agree with him that it is completely incapable for a criminal to hold the office of Commissioner of Police and Crime, and I would expect his resignation if what my honorable friend shared with the House is true.” and – election to that Police and Crime Commissioner with immediate effect.”

In a statement, Mr Turner said: “This is a horrific use of parliamentary privilege and I would ask Mr McDonald to withdraw his baseless allegations.”

In another statement reported in Northern Echo newspaper, he said: “The allegation he made is false, if he is willing to make it outside the chamber then the matter can be resolved in a libel court.”

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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