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”.


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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