We have already mentioned the failures of one of the Conservative police and crime commissioner (PCC) candidates, Humberside’s Craig Ulliott. But, that story pales into (almost) insignificance compared with the behaviour of the successfully elected police, fire and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire, Philip Allott. Let’s just say he didn’t last long in the role.
Allott’s resignation was a drawn-out affair. During the sentencing of Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard, on 1 October, Allott claimed that he believed that “women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested”.
Calls for him to resign poured in over the next few weeks. Yorkshire Bylines carried several of these early calls. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was joined by the party’s former PFCC candidate in North Yorkshire, Alison Hume, Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith, and local newspapers such as the Northern Echo and Yorkshire Post.
After a meeting of the North Yorkshire police, fire and crime panel on 14 October, a vote of no confidence was passed in Allott, and he finally resigned.
What was most startling about this affair, was the lack of accountability which Allott was subject to. While he ultimately did the right thing, there was no mechanism to make this happen. The vote of the panel had no formal power, and only the electorate would have been able to force him out of office, which would not have happened until 2024.
What’s more, the status of North Yorkshire as one of many safe seats for PCCs, means that this would have also been unlikely. The fact that Conservative Zoe Metcalfe was easily elected to replace Allott, despite strong campaigns by the Women’s Equality Party, and independent Keith Tordoff, is testament to that.
Check out the rest of the advent calendar’s entries here, and stay tuned for more releases!