BY Howard Williamson A LEEDS businesswoman has become the Conservatives' first female candidate in Yorkshire selected to fight the next General Election.
Leeds North-West constituency has chosen Mrs Julia Mulligan, who runs a marketing strategy and communications business in The Calls.
She is 39, is married to stock market trader Patrick, and has two daughters, Josie and Lizzie, aged five and four.
Mrs Mulligan lives in Elslack near Skipton and last March was elected in a by-election to Craven District Council as the member for Upper Wharfedale. She serves an area stretching from Threshfield up to Buckden.
She said: "It's a busy life, but I am very lucky that I have supportive family and my husband works from home and is able to look after our two little girls.
"I am delighted and proud to be selected for Leeds North-West. Both my parents and grandparents are from the area and Bramhope is where I had my first home.
"My family used to have a farm in the valley at Norwood Edge and brought their cattle and sheep to Otley Market."
Mrs Mulligan's husband comes from Huddersfield and his mother's family lived in Tipperary in Ireland. He was once a trader on the live floor of the Stock Exchange and later became an English teacher in a school near Chicago.
Mrs Mulligan said: "Leeds North-West used to be a safe Conservative seat and we hope to win it back.
"But it won't be an easy ride and the same can be said of many seats in the North. But Yorkshire is a key battleground.
"I have not sought a Parliamentary seat before but when I was 18 I helped the Euro campaign of Robert Sturdy in the Lancashire East constituency.
"I have also campaigned for my mother who is Heather Garnett, a North Yorkshire county councillor for Killinghall near Harrogate.And when I lived in London I was on the Conservatives' ward committee of Hammersmith and Fulham."
Other candidates on the shortlist for Leeds North-West were Adel and Wharfedale councillor Barry Anderson and another local man, Zahid Iqbal.
The sitting MP is Greg Mulholland, the Liberal Democrat.