North Yorkshire crime commissioner quizzed over bullying claims

North Yorkshire’s crime commissioner has refused to answer whether she is an appropriate person to take over governance of a county’s fire service.

Julia Mulligan, who has been found to have displayed “bullying behaviour” towards her staff, and, it has emerged, is facing two further complaints from former members of staff about alleged bullying, told the county’s Police and Crime Panel yesterday that she had received a huge amount of support from her staff following the findings of an inquiry into her behaviour.

Cllr Ashley Mason said: “Do you still think you are a fit and proper person to take over the governance of the fire brigade?”

She replied: “You need to ask them that and do a survey of them if that would make you feel comfortable.” When Cllr Mason repeated the question, Mrs Mulligan replied: “I’m not going to get into a debate about this, that’s my answer.”

After the panel’s report was published Mrs Mulligan said she was “shocked” at both the panel’s approach and findings, but when asked if she still stood by the comment, she declined to answer.

The meeting heard the findings of the report into Mrs Mulligan’s behaviour had been passed to

After the meeting, the panel’s chairman, Councillor Carl Les, said Mrs Mulligan’s initial response to the recommendations had been “confrontational”, but she had subsequently been “more helpful”and had agreed to the panel’s action plan.

He said: “I hope this draws a line under this issue, but we have to wait and see. Bullying is a serious issue wherever it is found, in the workplace or the school yard.”