United Kingdom

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson arrested in building contracts probe

The Mayor of Liverpool has been arrested in connection with bribery and witness intimidation offences as part of a fraud probe, it was revealed today.

Joe Anderson, 62, was arrested by Merseyside Police alongside four other men as part of a police probe into building and development contracts in the city.

Anderson shot to prominence in October after slamming the Government's old tiered lockdown system for offering little financial support to Northern businesses facing collapse under the harshest restrictions.

Police have not confirmed the Labour Mayor's identity, but said a 62-year-old was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

The 62-year-old is believed to be Anderson - who hit the headlines in October with his vocal criticism of the Government's tiered lockdown system, which he branded a 'shambles'. 

Anderson has since been suspended from the Labour Party following the arrest, sources said.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson (pictured) has been arrested in connection with bribery offences and witness intimidation

Anderson, 62, (pictured with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace last month) was arrested by Merseyside Police alongside four other men as part of a police probe into building and development contracts in the city

Who is Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson? 

Joseph Anderson was born in 1958 in Liverpool to a cleaner and a Merchant Navy officer.

He joined the Merchant Navy after leaving school and then went onto work for P&O Ferries

He went to Liverpool John Moores University and got a post-grad diploma in social work. He went onto be a social worker in Crosby.

He became a councillor in 1998 and, in 2003, became the Leader of the Labour Group on Liverpool City Council.

He became council leader in 2010 and then was elected Mayor in 2012.

Last year he secured the Labour Party selection to run to be Mayor of the city for a third term at May's delayed elections.

Liverpool was the first English region to be put into the top Tier Three - prior to the country's second national lockdown - as cases surged in the city.

He accused the Government of railroading through its Tier Three measures for the city without local leaders agreeing to anything back in October. 

His pushback came alongside criticism from Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who also blasted the rules - with affected vast swathes of the North.

Alongside the 62-year-old, four others were also arrested, the Liverpool Echo reports.

A 72-year-old and a 25-year-old were arrested on suspicion of witness intimidation. 

Two other men - aged 46 and 33 - were accused of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation. 

The Labour Party politician has led the city since 2010 and has been Mayor since 2012.

Last year he secured the Labour Party selection to run to be Mayor of the city for a third term at May's delayed elections.

A Liverpool City Council spokesperson said: 'Liverpool City Council is co-operating with Merseyside Police in relation to its ongoing investigation. We do not comment on matters relating to individuals.' 

Anderson (pictured) shot to prominence in October after slamming the Government's old tiered lockdown system for offering little financial support to Northern businesses facing collapse under the harshest restrictions

In October, Anderson (left) revealed that his eldest brother Bill (right) died after being admitted to intensive care with coronavirus aged 70 

In October, Mr Anderson revealed that his eldest brother Bill died after being admitted to intensive care with coronavirus aged 70.

Bill Anderson was a former chairman of the Merseyside Merchant Navy Association,. 

Condolences for Joe Anderson poured in, including from MP David Lammy, Everton FC star Yannick Bolasie and Liverpool City Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham.

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