Labour’s selection race to determine its next mayoral candidate in Liverpool is set to reopen after “careful consideration” – and no previously shortlisted candidate is being invited to join the new process.
The party last week suspended the process to determine who will stand to be the next directly-elected mayor of Liverpool in May. Shortlisted candidates Wendy Simon, Ann O’Byrne and Anna Rothery were reinterviewed on Friday.
It has now been confirmed that none of the three local individuals who had been shortlisted by a selection panel earlier this month are now being invited to apply for Labour’s reopened selection contest.
Announcing the decision this afternoon, a Labour spokesperson said: “After careful consideration, Labour is re-opening the selection for Liverpool Mayor.
“We are committed to ensuring members are able to choose the right candidate to stand up against the Conservatives, lead Liverpool out of the coronavirus crisis and fight for the resources that the city desperately needs.”
It is understood that new nominations must be in by 12pm on February 25th and ballots will be distributed to local Labour members from March 8th. They will need to be returned by 12pm on March 29th.
Party sources have suggested that the reasons for restarting the selection in this way are linked to issues around Liverpool corruption investigations, but local sources are sceptical and have expressed anger over the move.
A Momentum spokesperson commented: “Another bad day for democracy within the Labour Party. Delaying the ballot and then removing candidates with no explanation looks for all the world like a stitch-up to exclude left-wing candidates.”
Anderson announced on December 10th that he was stepping aside as Liverpool mayor, following his arrest earlier that month along with four other men on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
The directly-elected mayor, who first took office in 2012 after serving as council leader, was administratively suspended from the Labour Party on the same day of his arrest pending the outcome of the case.
Currently on unpaid leave, Anderson had been reselected as Labour’s candidate but confirmed on December 31st that he would not be seeking re-election as mayor.
This is a breaking story that will be updated as further details emerge…
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