Senior North Yorkshire Tories call on Philip Allott to quit as commissioner over Sarah Everard remarks

Senior Conservative politicians in North Yorkshire have joined calls for local Tory police commissioner Philip Allott to resign over his remarks about Sarah Everard’s murder.

Influential MP Julian Smith, a former Cabinet Minister who represents Skipton & Ripon, said that comments by Mr Allott on BBC Radio York arguing that women should be more “streetwise” and Ms Everard should not have “submitted” to arrest by her killer Wayne Couzens were “completely unacceptable”.

Couzens, a Metropolitan Police officer, falsely arrested the 33-year-old from York in order to kidnap her before raping and murdering her and was sentenced to a whole life order last month.

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The intervention comes ahead of a meeting of the area’s police and crime panel tomorrow where Mr Allott will face questions from the public and local councillors about his remarks.

Philip Allott is now facing calls to resign from senior members of his own party in North Yorkshire.

Mr Smith wrote on Twitter on Monday night: “I believe the PCC has lost trust of women and victims’ groups and should go - I have communicated this to the PCC and panel chair.”

While Mr Allott has issued a number of different apologies for his remarks, he has said he is not prepared to resign from his £74,400-a-year job after being elected earlier this year.

Hundreds of complaints have been sent to his office while more than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for his resignation. Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for Mr Allott to quit while Boris Johnson said the remarks were “completely wrong and wrong-headed” but stopped short of saying he should resign.

The Yorkshire Post understands that Mr Allott was also advised to resign by several North Yorkshire Conservative county councillors at a private meeting on Monday night but Mr Allott indicated to them he does not intend to quit.

A source said: “One or two people spoke in support of Philip but people queued up to tell him to resign. Philip is still in transmit rather than listening mode and he is determined to fight the fight on Thursday and try to explain his comments.”

On Tuesday, North Yorkshire County Council cabinet member Greg White, who represents Pickering and is a former member of the North Yorkshire Police Authority, told The Yorkshire Post he had written to Mr Allott calling on him to stand down.

Coun White said: “Since Mr Allott’s unfortunate comments on Radio York and his subsequent failure to convincingly demonstrate that this was not his view, I have been waiting for him to do the decent thing and resign.

“I am disappointed that he is apparently in denial.

“He seems unable to comprehend that he has lost the confidence of both those he must work with and the people he was elected to serve.

“It is no longer possible for him to do his job effectively. The police and fire services of North Yorkshire are more important than the fate of one man and, frankly, it is time for Mr Allott to go.”

Mr Allott did not respond to request for comment.

What Philip Allott said to Radio York

The controversy around Mr Allott was caused by an interview he gave to BBC Radio York two days after Wayne Couzens was sentenced for her murder.

In an interview discussing the case, Mr Allott told BBC Radio York: “A police officer can’t just arrest you. There has to be a reason.

“So, Covid for example I would classify as a summary offence, it’s not an indictable i.e. sent to prison or potentially go to a Crown Court.

“So women first of all just need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested.

“She should never have been arrested and submitted to that.”

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