THE chance to lead North Yorkshire Police is to be readvertised to ensure the “best possible person” is recruited.

Julia Mulligan, the police and crime commissioner for the county, decided to readvertise despite a day-long selection process on Monday when four candidates were interviewed for the chief constable role.

She said although there was a “range of highly talented candidates” she wanted to “test the market again” and said those interviewed were welcome to reapply.

Temporary chief constable Tim Madgwick, viewed by many as the favourite for the role, said yesterday: “While I am clearly disappointed with the result, I am committed to leading the force through this interim period.

“We have a lot to achieve over the next couple of months, not least of which is a continued focus on performance and the successful consultation on the police and crime plan.”

The decision not to appoint Mr Madgwick was questioned during a public webchat with Ms Mulligan last night, when she was asked how she could “justify” not appointing the “well-respected and admired Tim Madgwick” who has “already been in role for many months”.

In response Mrs Mulligan said: “You’re right Tim’s doing a great job. However, I’m not going to comment on individual applications for the permanent post of chief, that would be totally inappropriate. Apologies.”

Mr Madgwick, North Yorkshire Police’s former deputy chief constable, temporarily took over the reins in May 2012 from former chief Grahame Maxwell and said he would “throw his hat in the ring” to take on the role permanently.

Upon her election, Mrs Mulligan said her priority was to find a new chief constable and said she was looking for a “highly motivated, vocationally driven senior officer” who will go further in “understanding and tackling the root causes of crime and antisocial behaviour”.

The role offered a £133,068-a-year salary for a four-year fixed term, with more money for “exceptional candidates” and a potential benefits package.

In a statement yesterday, Mrs Mulligan said: “My assessment panel and I undertook a comprehensive and exhaustive assessment process [on Monday] where a range of highly talented candidates displayed many strengths and aptitudes for the role.

“However, I am determined to ensure that the public gets the best possible person to lead North Yorkshire Police and hence I want to test the market again.

“I have therefore decided to re-advertise the post. Yesterday’s candidates will be welcome to reapply if they so wish and I am still confident of making an appointment as soon as practically possible.”

A spokesman for the police and crime commissioner office said it would advertise and seek to appoint as soon “as is practical”. They denied that it would save money as with a temporary chief constable in post “there are no salary savings to be made”.