NORTH Yorkshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan has failed to win automatic selection as the Tory candidate for the role at the next election in 2020.

Conservative Party members made the decision at a meeting in Tadcaster last night, with an open selection process now set to take place.

A source said that just over 100 members were at the meeting.

"It was a very surprising result," said the source. "She was visibly shocked."

Ms Mulligan has been police and crime commissioner since 2012 and also took over North Yorkshire’s fire and rescue service last year.

The move comes after councillors agreed a contentious rise in the police precept - the council tax which goes towards funding North Yorkshire Police.

Ms Mulligan had originally sought a rise of 46p per week, or £23.95 per year (10.3 per cent) to the precept.

But at a meeting of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel on February 5, councillors vetoed the proposed increase, saying they needed more detail on how it would be spent.

The Northern Echo:

At another meeting of the panel yesterday, however, members approved an increase of an average of 44p per week (£22.95 per year) to the police precept - just £1 lower than the original figure.

Julia Mulligan's office said that the additional money will be used by the chief constable to increase the number of frontline staff by an additional 50 police officers and 20 PCSOs.

Ms Mulligan also criticised the Government for "passing on" the burden of adequately funding the police to local authorities.

She said: "I am pleased that we now have certainty on the level of investment which will be available to North Yorkshire Police to support the plans to boost local and visible policing across the county.

"Asking residents to pay more money is never easy, and the decision was not taken lightly, but I am certain it is the right one to ensure we keep North Yorkshire safe and feeling safe.

“I share the Panel’s discomfort about the level of the rise.

"I believe the Government’s decision to pass on the responsibility of adequately funding the police to local taxpayers has placed an unfair additional burden on the public of North Yorkshire, who already pay a lot for their local police service."