Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Philip Allott, will face a no confidence vote from Members of North Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel (NYPCP) this morning.
A former Conservative member of Harrogate District Council, he was elected to the £74,400 per annum post in May, 2021, replacing the controversial and disgraced Julia Mulligan, who had held the post since 2012.
He stood for Parliament in Halifax in 2010 and 2015 and got within 428 votes of winning the election in a Labour stronghold.
The NYPCP meeting is being held remotely, in order to accommodate the numbers thought likely to attend, and is scheduled to start at 10.30am. A link to the Agenda and live viewing can be found here.
Mr Allott is North Yorkshire born and bred; educated at King James’ School, Knaresborough and then studied law in Leeds as a mature student before completing a mini MBA at Salford University. He is also a qualified GDPR practitioner.
Liberal Democrats on the Panel say Mr Allott’s comments, made during a live interview on BBC Radio York, and that followed the sentencing of serving police officer, Wayne Couzens, for the murder of 33 year old York woman, Sarah Everard, were ‘offensive’.
The Commissioner told listeners that women needed to be ‘streetwise about when they can and when they can’t be arrested’ after Couzens had tricked her into an arrest, using his warrant card and police handcuffs, falsely citing breach of Coronavirus regulations.
NYPCP Member and Liberal Democrat City of York councillor, Darryl Smalley, revealed that the Panel has received over 100 complaints against Mr Allott – and a 10,000-name petition.
“Mr Allott’s comments and the hurt and anger he has caused is simply unacceptable, ” Cllr Smalley said. “This scandal cannot be simply swept away.
“There is a need for a cultural as well as legislative change to protect women and girls and make our streets safer – this change must start with the Commissioner.
“If passed, the no-confidence vote could not directly remove Mr Allott from his post, but it would clearly send a message of condemnation over his appalling comments.”
Cllr Smalley also highlights what he perceives as a need for ‘recall’ legislation – that allows MPs to be held to account by voters when their conduct falls short of the standards expected of them – to be extended to Police and Crime Commissioners.
“It’s frankly outrageous that Police Commissioners are so unaccountable to the residents they are elected to serve,” he said. “The ‘recall’ laws which apply to MPs should urgently be extended to include Police Commissioners.”
A ‘clear message’ has also been sent, says the chairman of Craven District Council, Cllr Alan Sutcliffe, after his council supported a vote of no confidence in Mr Allott last night.
Almost every Member of the Council voted in support of a motion calling for the PCC to reconsider his position in the light of comments he made following the rape and murder of Sarah.
The former chief executive of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, Nazir Afzal, has said Philip Allott’s position as PCC is “untenable” because no form of apology over his comments about Sarah Everard’s murder can suffice.
He also strongly supports Cllr Smalley’s call for ‘recall’ powers to be introduced.
A Conservative Party spokesperson says: “The Party Chairman condemned Philip Allott at the time for his totally inappropriate remarks about the Sarah Everard case. Mr Allott has rightly acknowledged his comments were completely wrong and has wholeheartedly apologised for them.”
Labour Party Chair, Anneliese Dodds, says: “It speaks volumes about Mr Allott’s values and those of the Conservative Party that he has not done the decent thing and resigned”.
Members of the PCC’s own staff have also voted overwhelmingly – 30 out of 32 – in condemnation of their own boss’s remarks about Miss Everard. A position that may have an even more profound effect on Mr Allott’s future than any of the more formal actions being levelled against him.
More to follow.
Page last updated at 0955hrs on Thursday 14th October, 2021
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