The Liberal Democrats have revealed a businesswoman and councillor as their candidate for the first mayor of York and North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire councillor for Masham and Fountains, and owner of Swinton Park, Felicity Cunliffe-Lister has been backed by the Lib Dems.

She said: "I’m delighted to have been selected as the Lib Dems’ candidate for mayor of York and North Yorkshire."

She will be up against Conservative candidate Keane Duncan, Labour candidate David Skaith, Green candidate Kevin Foster and Independent Keith Tordoff.

Cllr Cunliffe-Lister won her seat on North Yorkshire Council from the Conservatives a year ago.

She added: "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."


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Her business, Swinton Park was bought with her husband Mark in 2000. It has since been turned into an estate and hotel, creating 150 jobs and an annual turnover of £6 million.

Felicity said: "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. 

"We need change for the better, and this is a great opportunity."

Lib Dem candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough in the general election, Tom Gordon said: "I’m delighted that Felicity has been selected. She will make a first-class mayor.

"This is an opportunity for a fresh start for North Yorkshire, so I’d urge voters to support Felicity."

Conservative candidate, Keane Duncan was the youngest county councillor in history when he took over the Norton seat at age 22.

York Press: Conservative Party candidate, Keane DuncanConservative Party candidate, Keane Duncan (Image: Keane Duncan)

Labour candidate, David Skaith is the owner of the clothing store Winstons in York. Raised in Harrogate, Mr Skaith came over to York to study at York St John University.

York Press: Labour candidate, David SkaithLabour candidate, David Skaith (Image: Supplied)

The Green Party candidate Kevin Foster has 30 years of experience in both the Armed Forces and civil service. Cllr Foster currently represents Hipswell & Colburn for North Yorkshire council.

York Press: Green Party candidate, Kevin FosterGreen Party candidate, Kevin Foster (Image: Supplied)

Independent candidate Keith Tordoff is a former detective from Pateley Bridge. He was originally chosen as the Yorkshire Party candidate.

The election for the first mayor of York and North Yorkshire is set to take place on May 2. All registered voters over the age of 18 at this date will be eligible to vote.