Joe Anderson arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has been arrested along with four others as part of a fraud investigation into the awarding of building contracts in the city.
Anderson, who has led Liverpool since 2010, was held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation. The city council said it was co-operating with Merseyside Police.
The arrests are part of a year-long probe called Operation Aloft, which has focused on a number of property developers.
Anderson (pictured) has been suspended from the Labour party pending the outcome of the case, according to the BBC.
Also arrested were two men aged 72 and 25 on suspicion of witness intimidation, and two men aged 33 and 46 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation. Three were from the Merseyside area and one from Ormskirk in Lancashire.
The BBC has reported that Liverpool developer Elliot Lawless, who was arrested in January on suspicion of fraud, bribery and corruption, and denies wrongdoing, was not one of the five arrested on Friday.
Anderson’s brother Bill died in October after contracting covid-19 and the mayor has been shielding at home for most of the year due to underlying health conditions.
Anderson became Liverpool’s first elected mayor in 2012 having been with the city council since 1998.