Andy McDonald used Parliamentary privilege to make the allegation against Steve Turner, the Tory police and crime commissioner for Cleveland. Mr Turner branded the allegation ‘unsubstantiated’
A Tory police and crime commissioner was “sacked” from his old job at Safeway for “systematic theft”, a Labour MP has claimed.
Andy McDonald, MP for Middlesbrough, made the bombshell allegation against Steve Turner last night in the House of Commons.
The Conservative police and crime commissioner for Cleveland issued a brief statement saying the claims were ‘unsubstantiated’.
Mr Turner told the PA News: “This is an appalling use of parliamentary privilege and I will be calling on Mr McDonald to retract his unsubstantiated allegations.”
Parliamentary privilege allows MPs to say things in the House of Commons without fear of being sued for defamation.
Privilege also allows the media to report those statements in a similar way.
Ian Cooper / Teesside Live)
Labour MP Mr McDonald made the comments in an intervention in the House of Commons chamber.
He said: “On the topic of police and crime commissioner elections, is she as staggered as I am to learn that the Conservative Party’s PCC for Cleveland, Steve Turner, who was elected earlier this year, was in fact sacked in the early 2000s for systematic theft of merchandise from his then employer, Safeway supermarket, at their Norton store?
“Does she agree with me that it’s totally untenable for someone who is engaged in such criminal behaviour to hold the position of PCC and he must resign from his role with immediate effect?”
Labour shadow minister Cat Smith replied: “I am as staggered as my honourable friend to learn that the Conservative Party’s police and crime commissioner for Cleveland was sacked for theft from a Safeway supermarket.
“And I’d certainly agree with him it is totally untenable for a criminal to hold the position of police and crime commissioner, and that if what my honourable friend has shared with the House is true then I would expect a resignation and a by-election for that police and crime commissioner with immediate effect.”
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