AN inquiry into claims that an elected police, fire and crime commissioner ordered a staff member to expunge her social media links to the former leader of a kidnapping gang has found there is insufficient evidence to form a conclusion.

The review by the North Yorkshire and York Police and Crime Panel sub-committee heard the commissioner also faced a claim she instructed the same staff member to make a “false statement” to the media about her links to the convicted criminal, but there was also insufficient evidence over that allegation.

As the allegation was viewed as having the potential to be seen as a criminal complaint concerning the offence of misconduct in public office, it was also examined by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The IOPC also stated it was “not satisfied that the available information supports the assertion that the PCC acted dishonestly”.

Following the publication of the review Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), said she welcomed that the panel concluded “no information has been presented to corroborate the allegations made”.

She added: “These unsubstantiated and untrue allegations have now been considered by both the Independent Office for Police Conduct and North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel.

“While it is important anyone can have their say about the conduct of elected officials, it is also important that when nothing is found to have been done wrong, that is accepted by all involved.”

A report due to be considered by the panel next week states a former PFCC staff member, called “BC” had been issued the instruction by Mrs Mulligan after it emerged one of her active supporters – as she stood as Conservative candidate for Leeds North West in the 2010 general election– had been jailed for seven years in 2005. BC also alleged Mrs Mulligan had given instructions to give what BC felt to be a false statement to the media in respect of the her association with the convicted criminal.

The report states: “It is apparent from the statements provided to the sub-committee that there is difference in opinion between BC and the PFCC regarding the veracity of the PFCC’s statement to the media about the length of her association with the individual in question.

“The allegations made in BC’s statement imply that there has been a breach of the Nolan Principles due to a lack of transparent conduct by the PFCC. While the sub-committee are fully cognisant of the implications of such allegations, no information has been presented to corroborate the allegations made. There is insufficient basis to conclude that there has been a breach or that the allegations are in any way proven, or accepted.”