8 December 2020
Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation. He has been a stalwart in the Labour Party. Four others were arrested along with him. All were set free on bail. In the meantime, Labour Party has suspended Mr Anderson pending the outcome of the case. Anderson has been a Liverpool councillor for 22 years and leader of the Labour group since 2003. He was elected mayor in 2012. He was recognized for mass corona virus testing in the city.
Mr Anderson joined the Merchant Navy after leaving school at the age of 16. Later he studied for a degree in social work at Liverpool John Moores University. Then he joined as a social worker at Sefton Council in 1992.
Merseyside Police investigations, code-named Operation Aloft, has been going on for almost a year now. Merseyside Police said that the arrests were made in connection with offences of bribery and witness intimidation as part of an investigation into building and development contracts in Liverpool. The suspects have been released on condition bail, pending further inquiries.
Since Operation Aloft was launched, 11 people were arrested including Liverpool City Council’s director of regeneration Nick Kavanagh, and Elliot Lawless, founder of developer Elliot Group. Lawless was questioned before Christmas last year but the police has taken no further action against him since and his bail was lifted by the High Court on 25 March.