Labour’s Joanne Anderson succeeds Joe Anderson as Liverpool city mayor

Sienna Rodgers

Labour’s Joanne Anderson has been chosen to succeed Joe Anderson as the directly-elected mayor of Liverpool, replacing Joe Anderson – no relation – and becoming the city’s first female and first Black leader.

Joanne Anderson secured 38,958 first preference votes, a share of 38.5%, while Independent candidate Stephen Yip placed second with 22,047, 21.8%. As nobody secured over 50%, it went to a second round of counting.

The Labour candidate won 46,493 votes on the second round, compared to 32,079 votes for Yip, the founder of a Liverpool children’s charity who described the politics locally as “completely broken”. Turnout was 30.5%.

The newly-elected Labour mayor is a local councillor who represents the Princes Park ward. She used to work in community engagement for the civil service and set up an organisation aiming to boost diversity in business.

Labour’s selection process for the mayoral candidacy was controversial, as it was suspended without an official explanation and the three local women originally shortlisted were effectively barred from running again.

When the contest restarted, a panel picked Anthony Lavelle and Joanne Anderson after conducting fresh interviews. The party said they would both “offer the city a new leadership”. Anderson won the ballot of members.

Labour needed a new candidate because Joe Anderson, who denies any wrongdoing, was arrested in December on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation. He stepped aside from the post soon afterwards.

A government report this year found that the council had failed to comply with its best value duty. Minister Robert Jenrick ordered commissioners to be appointed to oversee parts of the council, which was welcomed by Labour.

The Max Caller report noted that sources described the corporate management and oversight of the council’s regeneration team as “sketchy” and the “style” in regeneration as “intimidating”, with little being committed to writing.

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