A Tory police boss is urged to resign for saying women should be “streetwise” after the Sarah Everard case.
Philip Allott, North Yorkshire commissioner, said Everard “never should have submitted” to the false arrest by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens, who abducted, raped and murdered her.
“So women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested,” Allot said on BBC Radio York.
He added: “She should never have been arrested and submitted to that.
“Perhaps women need to consider in terms of the legal process, to just learn a bit about that legal process.”
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said Allot should quit after his comments.
“He should go. I can’t think of a more inappropriate thing for a police and crime commissioner to say at any time, but at this time in particular. He should consider his position,” Starmer said.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also reacted to Allot’s comments, labelling them as “appalling.”
She said: “It’s not up to women to fix this. It’s not us who need to change.
“The problem is male violence, not women’s ‘failure’ to find ever more inventive ways to protect ourselves against it. For change to happen, this needs to be accepted by everyone.”
Following backlash, Allot published an apology on Twitter, in which he said he wanted to retract his remarks.
“I would like to wholeheartedly apologise for my comments on BBC radio York earlier today, which I realise have been insensitive and wish to retract them in full,” he said.
But Jess Philipps, shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, replied: “You can’t retract them. You think women have a responsibility in their own attack and you are responsible for policing and crime. You are simply not fit to be in the job. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’re streetwise enough to get another one.”
The comments come after Sarah Everard’s murder has sparked mass protests about women’s safety.
Wayne Couzens, 48, was handed a whole life order this week for the killing of the 33-year-old marketing executive which shocked and outraged the nation.
Sentencing at the Old Bailey on Thursday, Lord Justice Fulford described the circumstances of the murder as “grotesque”.
He said the seriousness of the case was so “exceptionally high” that it warranted a whole life order.
He said: “The misuse of a police officer’s role such as occurred in this case in order to kidnap, rape and murder a lone victim is of equal seriousness as a murder for the purpose of advancing a political, religious ideological cause.”
He paid tribute to the dignity of Everard’s family, whose statements in court revealed the human impact of Couzen’s “warped, selfish and brutal offending which was both sexual and homicidal”.