Arrested Ex-Liverpool mayor denies city corruption and says ‘success brings jealousy’

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A former Mayor of Liverpool has denied corruption and hit back at his accusers, claiming success breeds jealousy.

Inspectors were sent in to the City Council in December following the arrests of five men, including elected mayor Joe Anderson.

The 63-year-old, who denies any wrongdoing, was held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

Mr Anderson stepped aside from his mayoral duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

Today central Government Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said commissioners will oversee parts of the council following the release of the “Best Value inspection” report, which was launched in December.

He said it had found “multiple apparent failures” and a “deeply concerning picture of mismanagement” in some functions at the Labour-run authority.

Mr Anderson has now hit back at the accusations in a strident statement which highlights his successes.



Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson.
Mr Anderson denies any wrongdoing

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“Under my leadership of eleven years as Leader and as the duly elected Mayor of Liverpool, our city has been transformed,” he said.

“Even against swinging Tory cuts, we have protected front line services and supported those most in need.

“We brought in £50 million more a year in business rates and council tax, created 31,000 new jobs and 4,500 new businesses and built 17 new schools.

“The last five years have seen over £10 billion spent on schemes that will continue the transformation of our city.



The Mayor said he had transformed Liverpool
The former Mayor said he had transformed Liverpool

“These achievements have rocketed Liverpool into a northern powerhouse that the people of our city recognise.”

He went on to accuse his critics of jealousy.

“Today’s headlines do not reflect the dramatic success that we have generated over the last 11 years,” he said.

“With success brings jealousy and I want to digest fully today’s report before commenting on specific details.

“In the meantime, people should know that I have not been charged with anything and I completely deny the allegations that have been made against me.



Robert Jenrick said the council had failed to carry out some of its duties
Robert Jenrick said the council had failed to carry out some of its duties

“I am grateful and express my sincerest thanks to all those who have supported me throughout this ordeal, which came so conveniently as the ballots for May’s election were being prepared.

“I have co-operated fully with Merseyside Police and will continue to do so.”

The five suspects were originally released on police bail after their December arrests.

An application by Merseyside Police to extend their bail has now been withdrawn, because it was deemed “no longer necessary and proportionate”, although the investigation continues.

Earlier today Mr Jenrick announced commissioners would be sent in to run “limited functions” of the authority for three years.

Some of its functions will be taken over by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for its day-to-day operations, through Government-appointed commissioners.

Mr Jenrick said: “This package is centred on putting in place commissioners who I will appoint to exercise certain and limited functions of the council as required for a minimum of three years.”

He continued: “As a whole, the report is unequivocal – that Liverpool City Council has failed in numerous respects to comply with its best value duty.

“It concludes that the council consistently failed to meet its statutory and managerial responsibilities and that the pervasive culture appeared to be rule avoidance.

The council will have 10 days to make representations on the proposals.





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