Anna Rothery considering legal action over Labour Mayoral chaos

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Cllr Anna Rothery says she will take legal action against the Labour Party the party's shock decision to scrap its shortlist of candidates and re-open the process of finding a nomination to run for Mayor of Liverpool.

Cllr Rothery, a Princes Park ward councillor and current Lord Mayor of the city, was shortlisted for the nomination alongside Acting Mayor of Liverpool Wendy Simon and Ann O'Byrne, a former Deputy Mayor.

The shortlist was finalised after an interview process as the party looked to replace Joe Anderson, who remains suspended following his arrest in December.

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However, after releasing the final shortlist and just as voting was to begin amongst members, the process was suddenly suspended.

The three candidates were asked to come back for follow up interviews on Friday but then received no contact from the party for several days.

Today, the party took the unprecedented decision to re-open applications for the post and said that the three shortlisted candidates should not apply again.

The decision, the lack of explanation and the chaotic handling of the whole process by the party has caused anger, confusion and disillusionment across the city.

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None more so than with the candidates themselves.

Cllr Rothery said that if the decision stands, she will take legal action against Labour.

She said: "Like many people across our city and our movement, I'm shocked by the Party's chaotic handling of the selection for Liverpool mayor. Instead of a positive, unifying campaign for our city, we are faced with what looks like an undemocratic failure of process.

"I stood because I know our city needs a socialist mayor to clean up local politics, deliver a local Green New Deal and leave no one behind. I am humbled by the support I have received as someone firmly rooted in our trade unions and community groups, and who wasn't part of the previous executive.

"I welcomed the deviation last week from the formal NEC process to include more scrutiny of candidates but not to remove transparency and accountability from the process. I hope party HQ sees the outrage its decision has caused across our city and the harm it is doing to our party's reputation and changes course.

"If the decision stands, then I will be left with no choice but to challenge it legally."

The ECHO understands that Cllr Rothery will seek an injunction if the decision is not reversed.

Speaking about its decision today, a Labour Party spokesperson said: "After careful consideration, Labour is re-opening the selection for Liverpool Mayor. We are committed to ensuring members are able to choose the right candidate to stand up against the Conservatives, lead Liverpool out of the coronavirus crisis and fight for the resources that the city desperately needs."

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