Directly elected mayor of Liverpool

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"Mayor of Liverpool" redirects here. For this article is about the directly elected Mayor of Liverpool, for the ceremonial office of Lord Mayor of Liverpool, see Lord Mayor of Liverpool.
Mayor of Liverpool
Joe Anderson
Coat of arms of Liverpool City Council.png
Cllr Joe Anderson, Leader, Liverpool City Council.jpeg
Joe Anderson

since 5 May 2012
Style No title
Appointer Electorate of Liverpool
Term length Four years
Inaugural holder Joe Anderson
Formation 2012

The Mayor of Liverpool is the executive mayor of the City of Liverpool in Merseyside, England.[1] The incumbent is the former Leader of Liverpool City Council, Joe Anderson, of the Labour Party. The Mayor of Liverpool has been branded 'the most powerful politician in England outside the capital'.[2][3]

During 2012, Liverpool City Council decided at a council meeting to adopt the elected mayor executive arrangements, bypassing the typical practice of a local referendum as was planned that year in other cities.

On 5 May 2012, Joe Anderson became Liverpool's first elected mayor.

Role and powers of the mayor[edit]

The mayor is elected by the residents of Liverpool for a four-year period and is responsible for executive functions of Liverpool City Council and for the day-to-day running of the organisation. They are charged with leading the city, building investor confidence, and directing new resources to economic priorities. The mayor does not have responsibility for setting the Council budget or formulating policy framework plans as this remains with the city council. The mayor must appoint a cabinet of two or more councillors (also called the "Executive") who do not have to be from the same political party.[4][5][6][7] The mayor decides on the size of the cabinet and to what extent executive functions may be delegated. The mayor also benefits from so called 'soft powers' conferred on them by being directly elected, which enables them to influence, persuade and co-ordinate on a wider scale.[8]

The Mayor of Liverpool is entitled to sit on the proposed 'Cabinet of Mayors', along with the other directly elected mayors in England and Wales. Such a position allows a direct route to the Prime Minister and other senior ministers. Cabinet meetings will be held at least twice a year offering the opportunity to discuss local issues with decision-makers in Whitehall.[9]

Mayor for Liverpool City Region[edit]

A number of commentators[who?] have expressed disappointment[vague] that the Mayor's remit does not cover the entire metropolitan area of Liverpool, or the Liverpool City Region. A 2011 report by former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine and Terry Leahy argued that a directly elected mayor should cover the six districts of the Liverpool City Region. The report argued that "in marketing terms Liverpool is a world class brand" and "it would be perverse to do other than embrace the wider area within an identity recognised across the globe."[10]

After opposition from the boroughs of Wirral, St Helens and Sefton,[11][12][13] the idea of a city region mayor was dropped. Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, ruled out the move as "too difficult for now", citing the need for fresh primary legislation and a reorganisation of local government boundaries as practical barriers to the concept.[14] In November 2015, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority agreed a devolution deal with government that will result in the creation of a 'metro mayor' for the city region.[15]


The supplementary vote system

The mayor is elected by the supplementary vote system for a period of four years. Each voter lists both a first and second choice candidate. If no-one gets more than 50% of the vote the second choices are allocated to the top two candidates.[16]


Liverpool Mayoral Election 3 May 2012 [17]
Party Candidate 1st Round  % 2nd Round Total  First Round Votes  Transfer Votes 
Labour Joe Anderson 58,448 59.33%
Independent Liam Fogarty 8,292 8.42%
Liberal Democrat Richard Kemp 6,238 6.33%
Green John Coyne 5,175 5.25%
TUSC Tony Mulhearn 4,792 4.86%
Liberal Steve Radford 4,442 4.51%
Conservative Tony Caldeira 4,425 4.49%
UKIP Adam Heatherington 2,352 2.39%
English Democrats Paul Rimmer 1,400 1.42%
Liverpool Independent Party Jeff Berman 1,362 1.38%
BNP Mike Whitby 1,015 1.03%
National Front Peter Adolf Tierney 453 0.57%
Labour win

List of Mayors[edit]

Political party Name Entered office Left office
Labour Joe Anderson 5 May 2012 Incumbent


The Mayor of Liverpool's current salary is £66,000 per year, which is equivalent to that of a Member of Parliament. An independent panel of experts had recommended that the Mayor's salary should be closer to £80,000 which was meant to reflect the size and population of the city, as well as the role and responsibilities associated with the position both in terms of the executive functions and proposing and implementing of key strategic plans.[18][19]


  1. ^ "Liverpool council votes to elect city mayor". BBC News. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Liverpool’s first elected Mayor". 4 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Topping, Alexandra (4 May 2012). "Labour's Joe Anderson elected Liverpool mayor". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Liverpool elected mayor". 9 February 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "The role of mayor". Liverpool City Councildate=2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Directly-elected mayors - Parliament UK" (PDF). 19 April 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Joe Anderson appoints rivals as key advisors in first task as Liverpool mayor". 5 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Will new elected mayors have the necessary powers to succeed?". 1 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Niven, Rosie (27 April 2012). "Cabinet of mayors proves controversial offer to local authorities". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Liverpool elected mayor: City region proposals 'beyond the pale'". BBC News. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "A Merseyside mayor ruling over Wirral blasted as 'madcap idea'". 9 September 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "St Helens' Labour party object to city region mayor bid". 1 September 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Plan for elected Merseyside mayor comes under attack". 26 October 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Liverpool’s referendum on elected Mayor confirmed for May 3 2012". 17 November 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Ministers announce devolution deal for Liverpool city region". Liverpool Echo. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  16. ^ "How the votes are counted - Liverpool City Council". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  17. ^ Topping, Alexandra (4 May 2012). "Labour's Joe Anderson elected Liverpool mayor". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson rejects £80,000 salary recommendation for lower wage". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  19. ^ "Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson to take £66,000 salary". BBC Liverpool. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-23.