Bishop of Ripon joins calls for Philip Allott to resign after comments in wake of Sarah Everard murder case

The Bishop of Ripon has joined calls for North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott to quit after he said women “need to be streetwise” in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder.

Undated family handout photo of Sarah Everard issued by the Crown Prosecution Service

Dr Helen-Ann Hartley said that she was “shocked and appalled” by the comments, and that she thinks Mr Allott “should go” from his position.

York-woman Ms Everard was falsely arrested by serving police officer Wayne Couzens as she walked home in South London in March this year, before he raped and murdered her.

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North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime commissioner Philip Allott said Ms Everard “never should have submitted” to the arrest.

Revd Hartley told the BBC that “she had to really stop and read them and reread them and reread them again” when she saw his words and was “flabbergasted that he thought it appropriate to make those comments.”

She added: “I was absolutely shocked and appalled.”

She went on: “To make those comments which end up blaming the victim - and bearing in mind that the offender was a serving police officer - I think has completely undermined any confidence that one might have in Mr Allott, and as a result I think that his role is untenable.

“I think he should go.”

More than 4,200 people have signed a petition asking Mr Allott - who was elected earlier this year - to resign, however Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stopped short of calling for him to go.

Mr Johnson told The Yorkshire Post on Saturday the comments were “completely wrong, and wrongheaded, and it is entirely right that he has apologised and retracted,” but would not be drawn specifically on whether Mr Allott should resign the position.

On Sunday, Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden said that the Prime Minister had been “outraged” by what Mr Allott said.

Mr Dowden told Sky News: “The Prime Minister and I were outraged by what he said. It was completely unacceptable.

“I have been very clear in condemning it but I know the Prime Minister shares that view.

“He did immediately apologise and I think that’s appropriate for him to do so.”