Great Britain

Liverpool mayor among five arrested in building contracts probe

The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has been arrested alongside four other men as part of a probe into building and development contracts in the city.

He was one of five men arrested on Friday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation offences.

Merseyside Police said the arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into building and development contracts in Liverpool.

Mr Anderson, 62, has been suspended by the Labour Party following his arrest, sources told PA.

None of the suspects have been charged or named by police, however the following details were given:

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson talks to journalists inside a Covid-19 rapid testing centre in November

A 62-year-old man, from Old Swan, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

A 33-year-old man, from West Derby, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

A 46-year-old man, from Ainsdale, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

A 25-year-old man, from, Ormskirk, has been arrested on suspicion of witness intimidation.

A 72-year-old man, from Aigburth, has been arrested on suspicion of witness intimidation.

Police added: “Those arrested have been taken to police stations across Merseyside where they will be questioned by detectives.”

A Liverpool City Council spokesperson said: “Liverpool City Council is cooperating with Merseyside Police in relation to its ongoing investigation. We do not comment on matters relating to individuals.”

Councillor Richard Kemp, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool, said if the arrest was confirmed Mr Anderson should stand down from official duties.

In a statement, he said: "Firstly, mayor Anderson must follow precedent and immediately stand down from all official duties until cleared or convicted. We all have deputies capable of carrying out our work.

“Secondly, we must allow the police to carry out their enquiries. They have been working for 18 months now on a series of allegations relating to problems within the regeneration directorate in relation to the awarding of contracts and property disposals.

“This is a complex matter and takes time.

“Justice is best served by not speculating on any potential issues as these might compromise subsequent trials.”

Additional reporting by PA

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