Council Leader and vice-chair of the York and North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel Keith Aspden has criticised Phillip Allott for refusing to resign, despite losing a cross-party vote of no confidence.
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 earlier today. Proposed by Liberal Democrat councillor Darryl Smalley and supported by cross-party members of the panel, the motion sought to express the panel’s lack of confidence on Mr Allott’s performance as the Commissioner, condemning his comments. The full text of the motion is available below.
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.
Repeated calls for his resignation have come from across the political spectrum, including the Fire Brigades Union, North Yorkshire Conservative MP Julian Smith and former Police Commissioner Julia Mulligan. Despite this, Mr Allott has refused to step down and cannot be removed from office, due to lack of any ‘recall’ powers, which would make the role actually accountable to local residents.
Councillor Keith Aspden, City of York Council Leader and Vice Chair of the York and North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel, commented:
“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.
"It is incredibly important that local communities across North Yorkshire have confidence in the police, and the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner is supposed to be resident's voice and advocate in leading change and maintaining trust in the police. It is now without any doubt that Mr Allott has lost the trust of the residents he has been elected to represent."
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.”