Coronavirus: North Yorkshire police, fire and crime commissioner to stay in role after election cancelled due to virus outbreak

The police, fire and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire will stay in her role for another year after all local elections were postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 2:52 pm
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 2:54 pm

PFCC Julia Mulligan had been preparing to step down from her position after failing to be automatically selected as the Conservative candidate - but she now says she is committed to the job for another 12 months.

It comes after the government announced its decision to push back the May 7 elections after the Electoral Commission said the health crisis would have an impact on campaigning and voting.

North Yorkshire's police, fire and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan.

Mrs Mulligan said: “Given the spread of coronavirus and the unpredictability of the weeks ahead, I completely understand this decision.

“For the time being, every focus we have must be to ensure the health and wellbeing of people across North Yorkshire and the country as a whole.

"It follows that I remain in office and committed to the role to ensure there is continuity at a time when our brave emergency services will no doubt be tested."

Electoral Commission chief executive, Bob Posner, welcomed the postponement. He said: “This will allow local authorities to focus their efforts on delivering front line public services and importantly, mitigates risks to voters and campaigners.

"We will work with the wider electoral community to ensure elections in 2021, including these postponed elections, are well run, command public trust and attract high levels of participation.”

The PFCC election is normally held every four years.

Before the postponement was announced, Philip Allott was named as the Conservative candidate, whilst Mark Christie (Liberal Democrat) and Keith Tordoff MBE (Independent) were also competing for the job.

There were no elections scheduled to take place at Harrogate Borough Council or North Yorkshire County Council this year.

The last time elections were delayed was in 2001, when they took place one month late due to the foot and mouth outbreak.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter