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Liverpool mayor questioned under caution

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Liverpool City Council mayor Joe Anderson (Lab) has been interviewed under police caution in relation to a long-running police probe.

In a circular sent to councillors yesterday, and seen by LGC, Mr Anderson confirmed he had been questioned by Lancashire Constabulary as part of the probe into Lancashire CC’s joint venture with BT, Liverpool Direct and One Connect. Both are now defunct.

Liverpool’s chief executive Ged Fitzegerald stepped aside in May last year after he and Lancashire CC leader Geoff Driver (Con), along with the county’s former chief executive Phil Halsall and David McElhinney, who headed Liverpool Direct and Lancashire joint venture One Direct, were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and witness intimidation.

In the yesterday’s circular Mr Anderson said he wanted to “make clear some facts and bring some clarity to the matter”.

He added: “As Mayor, I have given instructions that Liverpool City Council, its officers and members will cooperate fully with Lancashire Police in their enquiries.

“In connection with that, a number of people have been voluntarily interviewed.

“I have met the police on several occasions as mayor and one of those was voluntarily under caution which I positively wanted to attend to evidence my full cooperation and assistance in their enquiries.”

Mr Anderson added the council was providing “dedicated” administrative assistance to police for the full disclosure of documentation and data, “with the purpose of being as cooperative and transparent as possible”.

He confirmed Liverpool is carrying out its own enquiry into the allegations.

Mr Anderson added: “I reiterate my position that the city council will offer full cooperation where requested, whatever that might be.”

Mr Fitzgerald was Lancashire chief executive from 2008 until joining Liverpool in 2011.

None of the arrested men have so far been charged. They are due to answer police bail on 22 February.

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