A few months ago I left the Labour Party. A mixture of pointless suspensions of socialist members, the inability to meaningfully hold the Tories to account and the talent of imploding at crucial moments had worn me out. When footballer Marcus Rashford is nicknamed the true leader of the opposition we know we have a problem. The recent Mayoral fiasco in Liverpool has only left me feeling vindicated in my decision. The best way to describe it is a hot mess.
In December 2020, elected Mayor Joe Anderson was arrested along with a number of other men as part of Operation Aloft, a year-long police investigation into a number of building and development contracts in the city. This triggered a selection process which drew up a shortlist of three candidates: Acting Mayor Wendy Simon, former Deputy Mayor Ann O’Byrne and current Lord Mayor Anna Rothery. Campaigning was in full swing, and the three women are seasoned veterans of the political landscape. Then in a move that shocked the Scousers, the Labour Party delayed the process, re-interviewed the candidates and informed all three they were ineligible to apply a second time. What was even more concerning is the Labour Party neglected to inform them or us as to why.