Boris Johnson condemns police boss Philip Allott's Sarah Everard comments, but stops short of calling for him to go

Boris Johnson has condemned comments made by the North Yorkshire police boss who said women  “need to be streetwise” about powers of arrest in the wake of the Sarah Everard case, but stopped short of calling him to go.

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

Police, and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott said on Friday that York woman Ms Everard - who was falsely arrested by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens before being raped and murdered - should not have “submitted to that”.

Speaking on a visit to Leeds General Infirmary on Saturday afternoon, the Prime Minister called the comments “wrongheaded” and said that he was glad Mr Allott had apologised.

When asked whether Mr Allott should resign from his post, Mr Johnson said: “Well I think what that Police and Crime Commissioner had to say was completely wrong, and wrongheaded, and it is entirely right that he has apologised and retracted.”

Mr Johnson said that “women and girls should be able to walk the street with complete confidence” and pointed to the “legitimate” frustrations women and girls may have with the criminal justice system.

He went on: “The issues raised by the appalling murder of Sarah Everard, underlying it I think is [...] the underlying frustration of so many women and girls and young women about what's happening in the criminal justice system, with domestic violence, sexual violence, rape, assault, harassment, all those issues.

“That I think is entirely legitimate, because I think there's something there that we need to tackle.”

He added: “Literally hundreds of 1000s of women are feeling this sense of the system is letting them down.”

Speaking to BBC Radio York on Friday, Mr Allott said Ms Everard “never should have submitted” to the arrest, prompting anger online.

In the interview, he said: “So women, first of all, 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.”