THE removal of Julia Mulligan’s status as the automatic Conservative Party candidate for North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner would seem a straightforward decision by members. She has been a divisive figure during her tenure, with several high profile initiatives causing ructions in the county.

An early plan to build a new police headquarters at South Kilvington was scrapped a year after work began on the proposal. The force has since moved from its base at Newby Wiske Hall into Northallerton, but the planned conversion of the former stately home into a centre for children’s activity holidays has met with fierce local opposition.

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Planning permission was quashed following a legal challenge, and the proposal is yet to be reconsidered by Hambleton District Council.

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And then there are the allegations of bullying behaviour, and the move to expand her remit to the county’s fire service, seen by opponents as an unnecessary power grab.

It should be remembered that crime rates in the county remain low, and Mrs Mulligan has worked hard to improve the plight of women in the criminal justice system. She has campaigned for more community-based help for vulnerable women, and her proposed York Women’s Wellness Centre has secured £400,000 from the government this month.

But in the minds of party members, those achievements clearly do not outweigh her many controversies. Mrs Mulligan believes the North Yorkshire party may have a problem with female politicians. Whether or not that is the case remains to be seen, but given her track record, she should maybe look closer to home for the reasons behind her deselection.