North Yorkshire police boss Philip Allott has refused to resign despite losing a cross-party vote of no confidence at a crunch meeting today (Thursday).
City of York Council leader and vice-chair of the York and North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel Keith Aspden has criticised Mr Allott for refusing to go.
With Lib Dem, Labour, Conservative councillors as well as independently appointed members all voting in favour, the motion of no confidence was carried unanimously at a meeting of the panel.
The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has faced a barrage of criticism in response to his remarks about murdered York woman Sarah Everard. He said she should not have submitted to her false arrest by serving Met police officer Wayne Couzens, who used his warrant card to falsely arrest her before kidnapping, raping and murdering her.
The virtual meeting saw Mr Allott face questions over his comments as well as repeated calls to resign after the panel alone received over 100 complaints.
Cllr Aspden said: “As a panel in charge of scrutinising the Commissioner’s work and performance, it was crucial that we send a message of condemnation over his appalling comments.
“It’s frankly outrageous that Police Commissioners are so unaccountable to the residents they are elected to serve.
“The ‘recall’ laws which apply to MPs should urgently be extended to include police commissioners, who are have direct power in deciding how to spend taxpayer’s money.
“The Commissioner’s comments and his failure to recognise their impact are simply unforgivable and he should resign immediately.”
No confidence motion
The no-confidence motion passed today reads as follows:
“Following the comments made by the commissioner and his subsequent response in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard, this Panel resolves that due to his performance, it no longer has confidence in Mr Allott undertaking the role of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
“Whilst this panel does not have the power to remove Mr Allott from his post, we suggest that to restore faith in policing across North Yorkshire and the Office of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, he should resign from his position.”
Car Crash Interview
The meeting also heard from members of the public including Gwen Swinburn from York who said, as repugnant as his initial remarks were, it was his behaviour since that tells all and that’s why he should resign now,
Another Dr Hannah Barham-Brown asked just how many complaints and signatures on a petition it would take to make him go.
Fellow Conservative Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council and chair of the panel asked the commissioner to reconsider his position in light of the backlash too.
Mr Allott said he wanted to remain and carry on his plans for reform and change in the Police and Fire service.
He accepted that he had made a mistake when he went on BBC Radio York to discuss the murder of Sarah Everard but he argued that he could win back the respect of the public.
He described the interview as a “car crash” and said he was grossly insensitive but complained that BBC Look North kept running clips of it which wasn’t helpful.
He also talked about his own experiences briefly saying he had been the victim of domestic violence and was a survivor. He didn’t go into any more detail.
He said he would resign if he can’t regain the trust of everyone but it’s clear he had no plans to quit today.