POLICE, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan has refuted allegations made over inappropriate activity on social media.

Mrs Mulligan is awaiting the findings of an inquiry by North Yorkshire's Police, Fire and Crime Panel following complaints by ex-staff members, and this week a further allegation claimed she had instructed a staff member to remove links to a convicted kidnapper from her personal Facebook page.

The anonymous allegations claimed Mrs Mulligan issued the instruction after it emerged one of her active supporters – as she stood as Conservative candidate for Leeds North West in the 2010 general election – had been jailed for seven years in 2005.

Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto, of Leeds, admitted being behind a high-profile kidnapping in Karachi in 2004 and taking a £56,000 ransom payment in Manchester.

On Wednesday, Mrs Mulligan told The Press there was no truth to the allegation, and she was hurt and upset by the matter being raised - which she considered a personal attack.

She said: "This allegation is untrue. At the time when I was the candidate in Leeds North West I, and the Conservative Party, knew nothing about Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto’s history and background. I have been clear that there were around 300 people who supported my campaign in 2010 and he was one of those. There is nothing to hide.

"It continues to both be disappointing, hurtful and upsetting to me that an individual is spreading false allegations anonymously without being asked to back up what they claim. I have always been committed to following proper process when there are allegations such as this, but the continued drip feed indicates others are following their own personal agendas."

Last year, the panel urged Mrs Mulligan to address "an endemic issue around the perception of bullying" in her office, leading her to describe the outcome of the complaints as "disappointing", and stating she took her duty of care to staff "extremely seriously".

Mrs Mulligan has championed the rights of victims since being first being elected commissioner for the largest single county force in England in 2012. In 2016 she was re-elected taking 40.1 per cent of the first preference votes, but secured re-election on second preference votes.