What now for Liverpool City Council?
It has been an eventful few weeks for Liverpool City Council.
The election on 3rd May saw Labour triumph once again, with increased majorities in the Croxteth, Norris Green, Clubmoor, Fazakerley, and Anfield wards.
However, 3 Labour seats were lost to the Liberal Democrats, including that of respected Childwall councillor Frank Hont to Carole Storey, the wife of Mike Storey, former Lib Dem leader of Liverpool City Council from 1998-2005.
Mayor Joe Anderson hit out at the party in a leaked email, pulling apart the election campaign that not only lost seats, but failed to win crucial targets in Greenbank, Tuebrook, St Michael’s, and Stoneycroft.
The most recent shock developments have seen Assistant Mayor Cllr Nick Small, who was the group’s election co-ordinator, axed from the Cabinet in a reshuffle on 18th May, followed by the resignation of Cabinet member Cllr Steve Munby in protest.
On the same day, Cllr Ann O’Byrne resigned from her position as Deputy Mayor, with a statement released on Twitter stating that she ‘received a clear mandate from the Liverpool Labour Group to continue as Deputy Leader of the Group for another year’, and how she feels that, ‘the Mayor isn’t listening to the Labour Group, wider party, and, most importantly, the people of Liverpool’.
Cllr O’Byrne was elected by the Labour group as Deputy Leader on Wednesday 16th May, narrowly beating Barry Kushner, councillor for Norris Green, to the position. In her social media statement, she said she will continue with her position as Deputy Leader to ‘support councillors and members’.
Cllr Barry Kushner tweeted: ‘Ann O’Byrne was elected Deputy Leader by a wafer thin majority of four. This is not a “clear mandate”. Since Wednesday, information about conversations she had with other colleagues has come to light which I believe made her position untenable. We should now have a new DL [Deputy Leader] election.’
Mayor Anderson released a statement to the group, confirming the resignations, and stressing that there ‘can be no place for internal party politicking. Not when we still have one in three children in this city growing up in poverty and when we have lost two-thirds of our government grant.’
Opinion on Joe Anderson divides Liverpool, but these recent shock developments have left everyone wondering: what will be next for Liverpool City Council?