Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has been released on bail after he was arrested over allegations of bribery and witness intimidation.
Anderson was arrested with four other people by detectives investigating the allegations linked to building contracts.
He has since broken his silence, telling the ECHO: “I was arrested as part of Operation Aloft on Friday 4th December, and interviewed for 6 hours.
“I co-operated fully with Merseyside Police and will continue to be co-operative in their continuing enquiries.
“I will be talking to my cabinet colleagues over the weekend to ensure the challenges our city faces with the Covid pandemic continue to receive the focus they deserve.
“I also support the Labour Party’s decision to apply an administrative suspension while this investigation continues.
“I have been bailed to return in one month’s time. Given the investigation is continuing, and there are bail conditions, I will not be making any further comments.”
Merseyside Police earlier said in a statement: “We can confirm that five people arrested in connection with offences of bribery and witness intimidation as part of an investigation on into building and development contracts in Liverpool have been released on conditional bail pending further inquiries.”
Anderson, 62, was detained on Friday and taken to a police station for questioning.
Confirming the details of the arrests yesterday, police said the following five people had been arrested.
A 72-year-old man, from Aigburth, was arrested on suspicion of witness intimidation, a 62-year-old man, from Old Swan, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation, a 33-year-old man, from West Derby, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation, a 46-year-old man, from Ainsdale, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation and a 25-year-old man, from, Ormskirk, was arrested on suspicion of witness intimidation.
The Labour Party politician has led the city since 2010 and has been Mayor since 2012.
The father-of-four was in the Merchant Navy and worked as a social worker before taking up the role.
He stood to become the Labour candidate for metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region in 2016 but was beaten by the then Walton MP Steve Rotheram, who currently holds the post.
Anderson has since been suspended by the Labour Party.