First black female mayor elected in Liverpool as Labour holds on to role

Labour's Joanne Anderson after she was declared the Mayor of Liverpool

Labour's Joanne Anderson is congratulated by Stephen Yip after she was declared the Mayor of Liverpool at the Wavertree Tennis Centre, Liverpool - Credit: PA

Liverpool has elected its first black female mayor as Labour held on to the role despite corruption allegations.

Joanne Anderson was named as the successor to Joe Anderson, after the former mayor chose not to stand following his arrest as part of a Merseyside Police fraud investigation.

After her victory, Anderson, no relation to her predecessor, apologised for the previous administration, referring to the findings of a report by local government inspector Max Caller, which included themes of bullying, intimidation, “dubious” deals and “jobs for the boys”.

Speaking after she was declared the new mayor, Anderson said: “The first thing I want to do is apologise to the city for what’s happened in terms of the Caller investigation and what’s happened under the previous administration.

“I’ve stood up because I want to make this right and I will do everything in my power to make it right.”

She pledged to give the city an “accountable and transparent” authority that the “people of Liverpool deserve”.

Commissioners appointed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) are taking over some of the city council’s functions for the next three years following the report.

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Independent candidate Stephen Yip, founder of children’s charity Kind Liverpool, came in second place in the mayoral race with 32,079 votes to Anderson’s 46,493 after second round votes were counted.

Previous mayor Anderson, who had been in the role since its creation in 2012, announced on New Year’s Eve he would not stand for re-election.

Three female candidates, councillors Wendy Simon, Ann O’Byrne and Anna Rothery, had been in the running to stand for Labour but in February the party announced it was reopening the selection process and did not invite the previous candidates to apply.

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