PRESSURE has been growing on North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott to resign after sparking fury with comments over the horrific murder of Sarah Everard by serving police officer Wayne Couzens

Over 7,000 people have signed a petition calling on him to go, they have been joined by the Bishop of Ripon Rev Helen Hartley who said she was 'shocked and appalled' by his comments and Fire Brigade's Union leaders say staff have 'lost all confidence' in him and are 'absolutely appalled'.

In an interview with BBC Radio York Mr Allott said: "Women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested. She should never have been arrested and submitted to that." He later apologised and withdrew his remarks.

An online peitition started by Justine Hughes on has been signed by over 7,100 people. She said: "We believe an apology is not enough and he should resign. Victim blaming is never okay, let alone from a figure of authority of the very institution that killed the victim.

Bishop Helen said: "I was absolutely shocked and appalled. To make those comments which end up blaming the victim and bearing in mind that the offender was a serving police officer I think has completely undermined any confidence that one might have in Mr Allott, and as a result I think that his role is untenable. I think he should go."

Fire Brigades Union secretary Steve Howley said he had received an unprecedented amount of correspondence from members about the comments. He added: "The common theme is outrage. The females in service were clear they have lost all confidence in Mr Allott's ability to run the service. In a situation where the focus should be on the tragic rape and murder of Sarah Everard and love for her family and friendship, his comments have shifted focus to his own outrageous and perspective-less comments."

In a statement on his website Mr Allott said he realises his remarks were both misconceived and insensitive and caused upset and distress. He added: "I have withdrawn the remarks. Clearly, I have much to learn, so as well as committing to working ever more closely with subject-matter expert colleagues in my own organisation, I will be seeking meetings with local partners that provide services to tackle male violence against women and girls, to deliver on their concerns and broaden my understanding of the issues."