Mayor of Liverpool bailed after being arrested over bribery claims.
Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson has been released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
Mr Anderson, 62, was taken into custody on Friday along with four other men by detectives investigating allegations of wrong-doing linked to building deals in the city.
Merseyside Police said in a statement on Saturday: ‘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, who lives in the Old Swan district of the city, was arrested on Friday and taken to a police station for questioning.
Sources later confirmed that he had been suspended from the Labour Party following his arrest.
Following his release on bail the Mayor put out short statement – the first time he has spoken publicly since his arrest.
He said: Mayor Anderson said: ‘I was arrested as part of Operation Aloft on Friday 4th December, and interviewed for six 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.’
The other suspects arrested alongside the mayor were a 33-year-old man from West Derby, Liverpool, and a 46-year-old man from Ainsdale, who were also held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation, and a 25-year-old man from Ormskirk and a 72-year-old man from Aigburth, in Liverpool, who were detained on suspicion of witness intimidation.
Liverpool City Council said in a statement on Friday that it was co-operating with Merseyside Police ‘in relation to its ongoing investigation’ but would not comment on ‘matters relating to individuals’.
Anderson was elected mayor of Liverpool in 2012, having been on the council since 1998.