Government Puts Corrupt Liverpool City Council Into Special Measures

Topping off the chaos in Liverpool over Labour’s mayoral candidacy nominations, today Robert Jenrick announced that the Government will appoint commissioners to control ‘certain and limited‘ functions of Labour-led Liverpool City Council for at least 3 years, following a damning report by Max Caller into the Council’s management and effectiveness. The commissioners will assume executive control of regeneration, highways, and housing, reporting to the government every 6 months. Making it the biggest Whitehall power grab of local government in history… 

Caller’s report found ‘an overall environment of intimidation‘ within Council management, and claimed ‘the only way to survive was to do what was requested without asking too many questions’. Hardly a surprise, given former Mayor Joe Anderson was arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation…

Jenrick also announced reforms to councillor elections, by holding elections for all seats simultaneously from 2023, as well as reducing the overall number of councillors and single member wards. Labour responded by supporting the government’s move, with Shadow Communities Secretary Steve Reed saying:

“Labour both here and our leadership at the City Council accept this report in full… we support his intention to appoint commissioners.”

Guido suspects Labour’s backing of a government takeover won’t land well with their left-wing support in the city…

mdi-timer 24 March 2021 @ 14:42 24 Mar 2021 @ 14:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour’s Liverpool Mayoral Selection Chaos

Guido has watched with ongoing bemusement as Labour’s candidate selection process for the Liverpool mayoralty has descended further into farce with every passing day of the last week. For those who haven’t kept up with the rigmarole (which began after the incumbent Joe Anderson was arrested on suspicion of bribery), here’s a brief summary: 

  • Last Wednesday, the Labour Party suspended the selection process on the same day ballots were due to be posted to members. The three candidates on the all-women shortlist (including Acting Mayor Wendy Simon) were then told they would be reinterviewed on the Friday. No reason was given for the suspension, though sources insisted it was unconnected to the candidates’ sympathies to Jeremy Corbyn…
  • This Tuesday, following the second round of interviews, the party announced it would reopen nominations with the three previous candidates ruled out of consideration. A Labour spokesperson simply said “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.Momentum campaigners were quick to declare the move “a stitch-up to exclude left-wing candidates”. Former candidate Anna Rothery even announced she was considering legal action…
  • Yesterday, reports emerged that Liverpool Labour councillors were so incensed by the decision, seen as a left-wing purge by the national party (surely not), that they intended to hold an emergency vote which would scrap the mayoralty entirely. Last night, two hard left Liverpool MPs – Kim Johnson and Paula Barker – released statements supporting the move… 

With renominations scheduled to close at midday today, the councillors will have to be quick if they want to abolish the role ahead of May’s elections. Fortunately for them, the council is under no legal obligation to consult voters on the matter. Perhaps scrapping the directly elected position isn’t such a bad idea: after all, there’s still the more senior and confusingly-named Mayor of the Liverpool City Region as well…

mdi-timer 25 February 2021 @ 11:07 25 Feb 2021 @ 11:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mass-15 Minute Covid Test Trial to Launch in Liverpool

From Friday this week, Liverpool will become the first city in the UK to introduce rapid response regular mass testing. Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson told the Today Programme this morning that “we would envisage that teaching staff could be tested every week and pupils in secondary schools tested every week.” Hospitals, teaching establishments, and universities are to be among the settings that receive regular tests by default, contacts of infected people will also be asked to test, and other citizens will be able to go into testing centres if they choose to.

The new “lateral flow tests” allow results almost instantaneously without needing to be sent off to a laboratory – bringing results within around fifteen minutes. This means that not only will more people be tested, crucially people will not have to wait days to hear their results. Regular asymptomatic testing avoids the problem of people being asked to quarantine if they just, for example, passed someone in a shop. People are far more likely to quarantine if they can see they actually have the disease. It will also mean a far smaller number of people actually have to quarantine…

Government scientist Sir John Bell told the Today Programme this morning that the tests are both cheap and reliable. They have been kept relatively quiet since July in order to rigorously verify them. The tests have now been deemed 99.9% specific, meaning only one in a thousand tested would be a false positive.

As Boris said in the Commons yesterday, this rapid mass testing programme is being organised by the army and the tests are being made in the UK. If all goes well in Liverpool it could start to be rolled out across the UK by the end of lockdown 2, genuinely changing the game…

mdi-timer 3 November 2020 @ 09:02 3 Nov 2020 @ 09:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Klopp Strop Flops: Anfield Voted Leave

Renowned whinger and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has thrown another strop, this time over Brexit. Speaking to the Guardian, obviously, the German Merkel fanboy said:

“When I speak to people they say, ‘I wanted to stay [in Europe] but I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t feel it yet as a person… The EU is not perfect but it was the best idea we had… So, for me, Brexit still makes no sense.”

Classic sneering from a self-important millionaire Remainer in defiance of the will of the people: according to academic Chris Hanretty’s figures, Liverpool Walton (the parliamentary constituency which includes Anfield) voted 54% to Leave. Will Klopp’s Liverpool be on the way out of Europe tonight?

mdi-timer 24 April 2018 @ 10:08 24 Apr 2018 @ 10:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments