Conservative Party members have expressed concern over a blunder on invitations to a key meeting, saying it could lead to members being 25 miles away at the time of a crucial vote.
The inclusion of an incorrect postcode on the invitation to attend a meeting to consider readopting Julia Mulligan as the Tory candidate to be the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, has been raised by members just days before the meeting.
While long-serving activists said any North Yorkshire or York resident who has been a member of the party for more than three months was entitled to vote at the meeting, they said the invitation error and a failure to contact all members meant far fewer would attend.
It is understood even a Tory council leader was initially omitted from the invitations.
The meeting, which is being staged at the 1920s theatre and ballroom Riley Smith Hall, in Tadcaster, will decide whether to reselect Mrs Mulligan to run for a third term as commissioner, which she has been since 2012.
However, instead of stating the historic hall’s postcode of LS24 9AB, the invitations directed people to LS28 9AB, which is a residential road between Bradford and Leeds, in Pudsey.
One party member from the Scarborough and Whitby constituency, who declined to be named, said: “There is a lot of interest among members in this meeting so it was disappointing that people, many of them elderly, were being expected to travel significant distances across England’s largest county to the far from central point of Tadcaster for a meeting at 7.30pm on a Thursday.
“It didn’t give the impression those organising the meeting wanted a large turnout and neither did the failure to give the correct postcode.”
A Thirsk and Malton constituency resident added she was concerned members reliant on satnav systems could find themselves “merrily driving round Pudsey at the time that the crucial vote is being taken”.
She added: “This whole thing has been an absolute farce. A number of local members of the Conservative Party have never even received invitations.”
While some party members have been alerted to the postcode error, the Conservative Party has not responded to a request for a comment.
At the 2016 election, 135,642 voters or 22.47 per cent of the electorate turned out and Mrs Mulligan took 40.1 per cent of first preference votes – falling short of the requisite 50 per cent.
She secured re-election on second preference votes, ultimately receiving 65,018 votes.