THE Bishop of Ripon has welcomed the resignation of North Yorkshire's Crime Commissioner but said the episode highlighted flaws in the system.

Bishop Dr Helen-Ann Hartley said Philip Allott had 'done the right thing' in resigning after his comments on the Sarah Everard case.

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However, she believes he should not have delayed his decision and should have resigned immediately after he urged women to be 'streetwise' about arrest powers in a BBC Radio York interview on October 1.

Dr Hartley said Mr Allott’s resignation highlighted a flaw in the system as unlike MPs, there is no legislation to recall police commissioners.

He stayed on in his post for two weeks after he sparked outrage by saying murdered Sarah Everard never should have submitted to arrest by killer police officer Wayne Couzens.

Mr Allott only quit after hundreds of complaints and a vote of no confidence by the county’s Police, Fire and Crime Panel on Thursday morning.

Dr Hartley said: “This sheds light on the fact that it is difficult, if not impossible, to remove somebody from this post.

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“The fact it got as far as it did, particularly to the vote of no confidence, exposes a flaw in the system of how people in elected roles like this can be held to account for the things they say.”

She added: “He should have resigned immediately because I felt pretty much straight away his position had become untenable.

“I was surprised he did not do this and did not have the sufficient self-awareness to realise he had completely undermined credibility in his role.

“Now, we need to ensure that the issues brought to the fore by the horrific murder of Sarah Everard are followed up with some degree of urgency.”

Chairman of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel, Carl Les, said their views on Mr Allott's position were made 'extremely clear' when they gave him a vote of no confidence on Thursday.

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He added: “It is our job to provide oversight for this extremely important role and, while we did not have the power to remove the commissioner, we believed there was a lack of trust and confidence in him that made his position untenable and he should go.

“We welcome the fact that the views of the panel have been taken on board and that Mr Allott has listened to the public and the vast majority of his staff."

Another meeting of the panel will now be arranged to appoint an interim commissioner, while plans are put in place for another election.

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