The owner of a luxury castle hotel has been chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate for York and North Yorkshire.
Felicity Cunliffe-Lister runs Swinton Park near Masham with husband Mark. She is also a member of North Yorkshire Council.
Felicity said: “I’m delighted to have been selected as the Lib Dems’ candidate for mayor of York and North Yorkshire.
“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.”
The councillor for Masham and Fountains already has experience of taking on the Conservatives after winning her council seat with a big swing to the Lib Dems a year ago.
Felicity worked as a city solicitor specialising in commercial development before moving to North Yorkshire 24 years ago where she and husband Mark have raised their three children.
The couple bought Swinton Park in 2000 and converted it into a luxury castle hotel, “transforming the Swinton Estate into a thriving business that has created 150 jobs and boasts a £6m turnover,” say the Lib Dems.
According to the Swinton Estate website, “The Swinton Estate is a private estate owned by the Cunliffe-Lister family since the 1880s, and the ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton, occupying 20,000 acres of the most commanding of landscapes on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.”
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.
“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.”