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Businessman criticised in Liverpool best value report launches judicial review against police

A businessman criticised in the best value report into Liverpool City Council has revealed that he has launched judicial review proceedings against Merseyside Police for unlawful arrest and using unlawful search warrants.

David Anderson, son of Liverpool’s former Labour elected mayor Joe Anderson, is chairman of SSC Management Group.

The report into the council by inspector Max Caller made findings about how Mr Anderson’s company came to work on highways contracts in the city.

This included: “In mid-2019, council officers in highways requested [the council’s contractor] Amey…to appoint SSC to provide client - side health and safety support…Amey asked why LCC would not procure the service direct and why SSC as they had no published highways experience.”

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Mr Anderson said: “The damage [this] has caused to me, both professionally and personally, is irreversible. In addition, staff have been made redundant, contracts have been lost and our reputation on the back of this report has been tarnished due to the unbalanced allegations made in this widely publicised report. 

“We did not have a contract with Liverpool City Council. We were a client of Amey plc working on the network which we can evidence through service level agreements, supply chain registration, email correspondence, audits and witness statements, which invalidate the assertion that my company services were acquired because my father was a politician.”

He said he was “particularly aggrieved” that Mr Caller had not approached him for comment or information, and said this was “an abuse of process and in itself a failure to take action or investigate impartially and properly’.

Mr Anderson also rejected a finding that his company was paid amounts inconsistent with the work done.

He concluded: “I am very concerned that this inspection report is politically motivated as my father is Joseph Anderson, the former mayor of Liverpool and he is mentioned in this report in excess of eighty times and is painted in a very negative light. 

“Finally, I think it is the right time to make the general public aware that I have submitted a judicial review against Merseyside Police for unlawful arrest and unlawful search warrants which is currently sitting with the High Court waiting to be heard.”

Mr Anderson senior resigned in December after he was arrested and an acting mayor has been in place since. An election is due on 6 May.

He has said that he intends to take Liverpool to judicial review over its refusal to pay his legal costs following his arrest in December on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

The council declined to comment.

Mark Smulian

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