The Liberal Democrats have chosen Swinton Park owner Felicity Cunliffe-Lister as their candidate for the York and North Yorkshire mayoral election on May 2.
Ms Cunliffe-Lister’s political career began last year when she was elected to represent Masham and Fountains on North Yorkshire Council in a by-election following the death of long-serving Conservative councillor Margaret Atkinson.
She worked as a commercial development solicitor before moving to Masham with husband Mark 24 years ago following the family buy-back of Swinton Park. The couple converted the castle into a hotel and opened it in 2001.
The Swinton estate as a whole now has a £6 million turnover and employs 150 people.
Ms Cunliffe-Lister said:
“The Conservatives are in complete disarray and they’ve run out of ideas. Under years of failed Tory governance, the region has been left behind. Now is the time for change.
“Having run a business and brought up three children in Yorkshire, I know what a fantastic place it is – there’s a lot to be proud of and so much potential.
“At the same time, I get frustrated by lack of vision, inefficiency and missed opportunities, and as an entrepreneur I don’t shirk at saying how it is or making tough decisions.
“We need change for the better, and this is a great opportunity.”
Tom Gordon, the Lib Dem candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough in the general election, said:
“This is an opportunity for a fresh start for North Yorkshire, so I’d urge voters to support Felicity.”
There are just 87 days until the election and the Conservatives, Labour and the Greens all announced their candidates some time ago.
She will be up against Conservative Keane Duncan, Labour’s David Skaith, Green candidate Kevin Foster and Independent Keith Tordoff.
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