North Yorkshire PCC resigns after losing vote of no confidence
North Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) Philip Allott has resigned after losing a vote of no confidence in his leadership following a backlash over comments he made about Sarah Everard.
He sparked outrage during a radio interview by saying that Ms Everard should not have submitted to her ‘false arrest’ by serving police officer Wayne Couzens, who used his warrant card to falsely arrest her before kidnapping, raping and murdering her.
More than one thousand complaints had been sent to Mr Allott’s office, while a petition calling for his resignation had been signed by more than 10,000 people.
At an online public meeting of the North Yorkshire Fire and Crime panel today (October 14), all 11 members gave him a vote of no confidence, although it did not have the power to fire him.
Mr Allott initially rejected calls for his resignation saying he wanted to fight on and regain the trust of the public, but within hours of the meeting ending he issued a statement saying he was “doing the honourable thing” and stepping down.
Mr Allott again apologised for his remarks, saying he “misspoke” and was “devastated” by the impact of his words.
In his statement, he said: “I had hoped I could rebuild trust, to restore confidence. I was pleased that so many victims’ groups had accepted that I was genuinely sorry and were willing to work with me to help me in the mammoth task I had ahead.
“Following this morning’s meeting of the Police and Crime Panel it seems clear to me that the task will be exceptionally difficult, if it is possible at all. It would take a long time and a lot of resources of my office and the many groups who do excellent work supporting victims. This is time victims do not have.
“There are women and girls in York and North Yorkshire today suffering at the hands of men. Victims and the groups who support them need to be heard. They cannot be heard if the airwaves are filled with discussion about my future.
“That is why I am doing the honourable thing and resigning as police, fire and crime commissioner – to restore confidence in the office which I believe will be almost impossible for me to do, and to enable victims’ voices to be heard clearly without the distraction of the continued furore which surrounds me.”
An acting PCC will be chosen until a by-election is held.