Liberal Democrat Councillor Richard Kemp CBE has responded to the news that the Mayor will continue to step aside from Mayoral duties over the coming months, but still remain in office.
Councillor Kemp said:
"Today’s announcement by Mr Anderson brings further shame to our City. There is no way he could be cleared quickly and there is no way that Labour would have allowed him to be the candidate for the Mayoral election on May 6th unless he had been cleared. By not making a clean break Mayor Anderson will continue to cast a dark shadow over the City.
He will still be the Mayor even if not doing anything but he will be a lame duck Mayor not capable of making any decisions but preventing any major changes from the acting Mayor, Wendy Simon. Given his previous track record we wonder if he will really continue in post until May 6th without taking the £29,000 salary he would be legally entitled to.
Liberal Democrats regret that Joe Anderson is going in this way. We wanted to defeat him at the ballot box when the people of Liverpool would have had the opportunity to question him about the many failings on his watch particularly in the financial and development fields. Even before the election we wanted him to defend his record especially at the Budget Meeting of the Council in March.
Liverpool has the unenviable record of 15 arrests of Council staff, the Mayor, and people connected with the Council in just 4 years. We understand that there are more to come!
There will be an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on 20th January at which the Lib Dems will again seek to abolish the position of Elected Mayor.
If that fails then there will be a clear choice for the people of Liverpool. With only 2 Parties capable of winning the Mayoral election they can choose between a Labour Candidate who is either a current councillor who is complicit in all Joe Anderson’s failures or a candidate from outside without the experience to run the City in this difficult time.
The alternative will be to vote for an experienced Liberal Democrat team which will be led by me which will bring accountability, openness and a partnership with the people of Liverpool to take the City out of the property scandals and the Covid crisis.
We believe that the City needs a clean break from the past and that the only way to achieve this is for the City to support the Liberal Democrat Team with the experience and the clean slate to take the City forward."