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Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson arrested in building contracts probe
4 December 2020, 17:39 | Updated: 4 December 2020, 20:35
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has been arrested as part of a building contracts probe, according to reports.
Merseyside Police said five people were arrested by detectives on Friday in connection with offences of bribery and witness intimidation as part of an investigation into building and development contracts in Liverpool.
It is understood the Mayor has been administratively suspended from the Labour Party, pending the outcome of the case.
None of the men have been charged or named by Merseyside Police.
The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation.
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.”
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.
Those arrested have been taken to police stations across Merseyside where they will be questioned by detectives.
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."