North Yorkshire Police Commissioner Philip Allott has finally quit. In case you missed it, this is in the wake of his inflammatory 1 October comments about the tragic murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of Met Police officer Wayne Couzens, who abducted her on the pretext of an arrest. Three big problems stand out for me in the way Allott has navigated his personal career crisis over the last two weeks.

The first – and most obvious – is his preposterous original interview on BBC Radio York about the case. He said “women need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t”; that Sarah Everard “should never have submitted to that [arrest]”; and that “perhaps women need to … learn a bit more about that legal process”.

It should have been obvious to him that his crass comments suggested it was Everard’s ignorance in allowing herself to be arrested that caused her death – and, more broadly, women’s fault if they let themselves get murdered. In talking on air about such a sensitive subject, anyone would need to be mindful of what they said – especially someone in his position, and with Everard’s family in his constituency.

It’s no surprise his comments sparked such outrage. And it’s ironic he ends his interview saying the Met Police Commissioner “should consider her position.”

His second mistake was desperately clinging on to his job throughout the two-week furore that followed – including 800 complaint letters to his office, a outburst of rage on social media, condemnation from the Prime Minister and calls from members of North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire & Crime Panel for him to resign. Perhaps this is easier to say in hindsight, but I think it should have been clear he couldn’t recover from what he’d said. But it was only some hours after a unanimous no-confidence vote from the Panel this morning that he finally threw in the towel.

He could have brought the backlash to a far swifter end, and limited the public upset and damage to his own reputation, had he resigned much sooner.

Thirdly, the manner of his eventual resignation leaves much to be desired. In a case where you’ve clearly done wrong and all public opinion is against you, the best course of action is generally to take full responsibility and apologise unequivocally.

Certainly, his resignation letter does apologise at length for his comments, and he promises to learn from the incident and do better.

But he borrows weasel words from Hilary Clinton in saying “I misspoke.”  (For more on the mendacity of claims of ‘misspeaking’, see this interesting article). He talks about how he’s now “doing the honourable thing” – bizarrely trying to claim some kind of moral high-ground – when surely his honourability or otherwise is for others to judge.

Worst of all, his letter says, with apparent frustration: “I have tried to say this again and again, but I recognise that what I have said has not always been heard as I intended.”

‘Not always heard as intended’?

With echoes of his original offending comments, his point appears to be less that he expressed unacceptable views, than that other people heard it wrongly.