The Mayor of Liverpool was released on bail today, one day after his arrest in connection with bribery and intimidation crime.
Joe Anderson, 62, was arrested along with four others by detectives investigating allegations of fraud related to construction contracts.
Merseyside Police said in a statement: "We can confirm that five people arrested in Liverpool in connection with bribery and intimidation in connection with an investigation into construction and development contracts have been released on bail pending further investigation."
Anderson was arrested Friday and taken to a police station for questioning.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson (pictured) was released on bail after being arrested in connection with bribery and intimidation of witnesses
He came to light in October after criticizing the government's old tiered lockdown system for providing little financial support to businesses in the north under the harshest restrictions on the brink of collapse.
Police have not confirmed the mayor's identity, but said a 62-year-old was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to bribe and intimidate witnesses.
The 62-year-old is believed to be Anderson, who was suspended from the Labor Party after his arrest.
The veteran Labor politician is believed to have been detained at his home address in the Old Swan district around 7 a.m. yesterday.
The 62-year-old Anderson (pictured 2018) was arrested by Merseyside police along with four other men as part of a police investigation into construction and development contracts in the city
Anderson hit the headlines in October for loud criticism of the government's tiered lockdown system, which he called "a mess".
Who is Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson?
Joseph Anderson was born in Liverpool in 1958, the son of a cleaner and a merchant marine officer.
After graduating from high school, he joined the merchant marine and then worked for P&O Ferries
He attended Liverpool John Moores University and received a postgraduate diploma in social work. He became a social worker in Crosby.
He became City Councilor in 1998 and Chairman of the Working Group on Liverpool City Council in 2003.
He was elected council chairman in 2010 and mayor in 2012.
Last year he won the Labor Party election to serve as mayor of the city for a third term in the late May election.
Liverpool became the first English region to be ranked in the top three – before the country's second national lockdown – as cases increased in the city.
He accused the government of running railroads through its tier three policies for the city without local leaders agreeing to anything in October.
His backlash came with criticism from Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who had also broken the rules – affecting large parts of the north.
In addition to the 62-year-old, four others were arrested.
A 72-year-old and a 25-year-old were arrested on suspicion of intimidating witnesses.
Two other men, ages 46 and 33, were charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and intimidation of witnesses.
The arrests come as part of Merseyside Police's Operation Aloft – a 15 month long operation examining agreements between developers and the council.
Councilor Richard Kemp, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool, said if the arrest was confirmed, Mr Anderson should step down from official duties.
In a statement, he said, “First, Mayor Anderson must follow precedent and immediately withdraw from all official duties until he is resolved or convicted. We all have MPs who are able to do our job.
Second, we need to allow the police to conduct their investigation. You have been working for the last 18 months on a number of allegations related to issues within the Regeneration Directorate related to the award of contracts and the sale of real estate.
Anderson (pictured) came to prominence in October after slamming the government's old tiered lockdown system because it provided little financial support to businesses in the north under the harshest restrictions on the brink of collapse
The arrests come as part of Merseyside Police's Operation Aloft – a 15 month long operation examining agreements between developers and the council. Pictured: Liverpool's Liver Building
& # 39; This is complex and takes time.
"The best way to achieve justice is to avoid speculating about potential problems that could jeopardize subsequent processes."
A Merseyside Police Department spokesman said yesterday: “Five people were arrested by detectives in connection with bribery and intimidation offenses during an investigation into construction and development contracts in Liverpool.
"The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation."
Mr Anderson was elected Mayor of Liverpool in 2012 after serving on the council since 1998.
The father of four was in the Merchant Navy and worked as a social worker before taking on the role.
In October, Anderson (left) announced that his eldest brother Bill (right) died after being admitted to intensive care with coronavirus at the age of 70
He was named a Labor nominee for Liverpool City Area Underground Mayor in 2016 but was beaten by then-Walton MP Steve Rotheram, who is currently in office.
A Liverpool City Council spokesman said: “Liverpool City Council is working with Merseyside Police on the ongoing investigation. We do not comment on matters that affect individuals. & # 39;
In October, Mr Anderson announced that his eldest brother, Bill, died after being admitted to intensive care with coronavirus at the age of 70.
Bill Anderson was a past chairman of the Merseyside Merchant Navy Association.
Joe Anderson expressed condolences from MP David Lammy, Everton FC star Yannick Bolasie and Steve Rotherham, Mayor of Liverpool, among others.
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