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North Yorkshire's police commissioner quits following comments

Philip Allott has announced his resignation as North Yorkshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner, following mounting pressure after his comments about the Sarah Everard case.

He has again apologised for what he said in a radio interview with the BBC, adding that he 'misspoke' and that the comments 'do not reflect' his views.

There will now need to be a by-election to replace Mr Allott, who leaves after just 5 months in the role following his election in May this year.

In a statement he said:

“Over the past two weeks I have tried to rebuild trust and confidence in my work as York and North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. I needed to do that following comments I made on an interview with Radio York regarding the horrific abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

"I need to be clear. I apologise unreservedly for my remarks. They do not reflect my views. I misspoke and I am devastated at the effect that this has had on victims of crime and the groups that support them. I have tried to say this again and again but I recognise that what I have said has not always been heard as I intended.

"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.

"I entered public life because I wanted to make a difference. I still do. So, I am committing myself to doing all I can as a private individual to support victims groups. The pledge I made as Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner was genuine. It is one I will keep.

"I would like to thank my office and especially my Chief Executive for his help and support, especially during the last two weeks which has been a challenging time for everyone at the OPFCC.

"Whoever the new Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will be I wish them every success in what is one of the most demanding but rewarding jobs in the UK.”

Simon Dennis, Chief Executive of the Office of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, added:

“The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel will now arrange the appointment of an acting Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to be chosen in accordance with the law, from amongst the staff of the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

"Further announcements will be made by the Panel in due course. In the meantime, the staff of the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and York will continue to work to protect communities, support victims and keep residents safe and feeling safe.”

In accordance with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, a by-election will take place. This will be organised by the North Yorkshire Police Area Returning Officer.

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