Joe Anderson (politician)

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Joe Anderson
Cllr Joe Anderson, Leader, Liverpool City Council.jpeg
Mayor of Liverpool
Assumed office
4 May 2012
Deputy Paul Brant
Ann O'Byrne
Preceded by Office created
Leader of Liverpool City Council
In office
6 May 2010 – 4 May 2012
Deputy Paul Brant
Preceded by Warren Bradley
Succeeded by Office abolished
Councillor for Liverpool City Council
In office
7 May 1998 – 4 May 2012
Ward Abercromby (1998–04)
Riverside (2004–12)
Preceded by J. Hackett
Succeeded by Hetty Wood
Personal details
Born (1958-01-24) 24 January 1958 (age 60)
Liverpool, England, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater Liverpool John Moores University
Profession Social Worker

Joseph 'Joe' Anderson OBE (born 24 January 1958) is a British Labour Party politician who is the first directly elected mayor of Liverpool, having been elected with 57% of the vote on 3 May 2012. He won a second term in May 2016 with 52.6% of the vote. [1] He was previously leader of the Liverpool City Council from the 2010 Council election until the 2012 Mayoral election.[2] He is the first Labour Leader of the Council since 1998, the same year he was first elected as a Councillor. He is also on the board of directors at Liverpool Vision, an Economic Development Company within the city.[3] Anderson represents Liverpool City Council as a member of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Early life and career[edit]

Anderson was born in Liverpool in 1958, the son of an office cleaner and merchant seaman. He lived in Liverpool 1 near the city centre during his early life, attending St Vincent Primary School and St Martins Secondary School[4] before leaving at age 16.

Anderson joined the Merchant Navy when he left school and later worked for P&O Ferries and was a steward in the National Union of Seamen. He then attended Liverpool John Moores University as a mature student and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work, allowing him to become a full-time social worker at Chesterfield High School.[4]

Political career[edit]

Anderson was first elected as a city councillor in 1998, representing the Abercromby ward. In 2003, he became the Leader of the Labour Group on Liverpool City Council, and in 2010 became the Leader of the Council, when Labour gained a majority of seats in the city.[4]

Previously he was on the board of the Liverpool Culture Company, a group involved in developing a programme of events for Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008. However, he resigned this position in 2007 after stating his concern at the lack of community involvement in planned events, alleging that an elitist attitude was developing among the board.[5]

Anderson was, along with Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman, involved with the campaign to free Michael Shields after his arrest and subsequent imprisonment in Bulgaria in 2005.[6][7]

In opposition, Anderson had been critical of the joint venture between British Telecom (BT) and Liverpool City Council called LDL. However, one of his first moves on becoming Council Leader was to appoint David McElhinney as temporary Chief Executive of the Council for the 6-month period when the Council was renegotiating its contract with BT. David McElhinney was Chief Executive of LDL at the same time. Cherie Booth QC was engaged to provide legal advice regarding the obvious potential for conflict of interest. The LDL contract was extended, although this was subsequently terminated when it came to light that David McElhinney's payments from another council - Lancashire - were under investigation. McElhinney and others were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of conspiring to pervert the course of justice and intimidating witnesses.[8] Anderson was interviewed by police under caution in November 2017.[9][10][11][12]

In April 2015, Anderson was involved in a legal dispute with Chesterfield High School, claiming unfair dismissal from his role as social inclusion mentor. It transpired that he had continued to receive an annual salary of £4,500 from the school in his working absence. The case for unfair dismissal was lost and Chesterfield requested that Anderson pay back a portion of the money he had received. The case attracted press attention when the judge revealed that Anderson had used Liverpool City Council lawyers to work on it despite its being a private matter.[13]

In December 2015, Anderson was appointed as Leader of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. This was not a conventional election, but a joint decision by council leaders of neighbouring local authorities.

In May 2016, he announced his intention to run for the nomination of the Labour Party for the Liverpool City Region 'metro mayor' position.[4] In the selection contest, he finished second to then-Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram,[14] who went on to win the Liverpool City Region Mayoral election in May 2017. Anderson continued in his position as the Mayor of Liverpool.

In May 2017, he put himself forward for selection as a Labour candidate to be the MP for the Liverpool Walton constituency, but lost out to then-Unite the Union official Dan Carden. In reaction, he issued a statement claiming that "Today we were reminded that the Labour Party is not always a meritocracy... after [the General Election] there will be more to say"[15]

Personal life and honours[edit]

He is a lifelong fan of Everton Football Club, and has spoken of his desire to see the club remain within the city, in opposition to the planned Kirkby Project.[16]

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to local government and the community.[17][18]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Labour sweeps to power in Liverpool after 12 years of Lib Dem rule". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Liverpool Vision - Board". Liverpool Vision. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d Susanna Rustin, "Joe Anderson, Liverpool mayor: 'It’s not about big hitters, like Andy Burnham'", The Guardian, 1 June 2016, accessed 2 January 2018.
  5. ^ "'Wine and Canápes'". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Graham Sankey held over attack on Joe Anderson". icLiverpool. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Jailed Liverpool fan Michael Shields pardoned". Reuters UK. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Chris Pleasance, "Anti-austerity Labour mayor earning £80,000 was 'paid £4,500 by secondary school where he used to work for doing nothing because being linked to him gave it kudos", The Daily Mail, 20 April 2015, online edition, accessed 23 April 2015.
  14. ^ Frances Perraudin, "Corbyn ally named as candidate for Liverpool city region mayor ", The Guardian, 10 August 2016, accessed 2 January 2018.
  15. ^ pinned tweet from his official Twitter account 9 May 2017
  16. ^ "City council accused over 'shame' of Everton move". icLiverpool. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  17. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 8.
  18. ^ "BBC News - Mayor appointed OBE in Queen's Birthday Honours list". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
Political offices
Preceded by
Warren Bradley
Leader of Liverpool City Council
Succeeded by
Office Abolished
New creation Mayor of Liverpool