Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson “cooperating” with investigation after he is bailed following bribery arrest

Matt Watts
·2-min read
<p>Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has been released on bail</p> (PA)

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has been released on bail

(PA)

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has said he is “co-operating” with police after his arrest with four other people by detectives investigating allegations of bribery and witness intimidation.

Mr Anderson was bailed on Saturday along with the other men after his arrest on Friday. He has been suspended from the Labour Party.

In a statement released to the Liverpool Echo he said: "I was arrested as part of Operation Aloft on Friday 4th December, and interviewed for 6 hours. I co-operated fully with Merseyside Police and will continue to be co-operative in their continuing enquiries.

"I will be talking to my cabinet colleagues over the weekend to ensure the challenges our city faces with the Covid pandemic continue to receive the focus they deserve. I also support the Labour Party’s decision to apply an administrative suspension while this investigation continues.

"I have been bailed to return in one month’s time. Given the investigation is continuing, and there are bail conditions, I will not be making any further comments."

Merseyside Police said in a statement: "We can confirm that five people arrested in connection with offences of bribery and witness intimidation as part of an investigation on into building and development contracts in Liverpool have been released on conditional bail pending further inquiries."

Anderson, 62, was detained on Friday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation and taken to a police station for questioning.

Anderson has been Liverpool's elected mayor since 2012, having been on the council since 1998.

He has gained national prominence during the coronavirus pandemic, making many media appearances as local authorities across the north battled with the government over restrictions and financial support.

Liverpool City Council said Friday that it was co-operating with Merseyside Police but added: "We do not comment on matters relating to individuals."

On Friday announcing the arrests police also said a 33-year-old man from West Derby, Liverpool, and a 46-year-old man, from Ainsdale in Southport, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

A 25-year-old man from Ormskirk, Lancashire, and a 72-year-old man from Aigburth in Liverpool were also detained on suspicion of witness intimidation.