The High Court in Manchester has ordered that an urgent trial take place of the claim by Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, that Liverpool City Council are acting unlawfully in refusing to provide him with the same indemnity against legal costs offered to other council members.
Landmark Chambers reported that, in giving permission, the judge said: “This is a high profile case which has attracted local and national publicity and the consequences for both the Claimant and the Defendant are far reaching” and that there was “significant public interest in ventilation of full argument”.
The set added: “The Police are investigating Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson, over allegations of corruption. Mr Anderson strongly denies any wrongdoing and asserts that, until any charges are made against him and proved, he is entitled to the full presumption of innocence along with every other person investigated by the police.
“The council have refused usual indemnity offered to council members on the grounds that, if Mr Anderson acted in the way the police suggest, he would not have been acting lawfully. Mr Anderson rejects that, and argues that this approach is unlawful because it assumes his guilt, and that is a breach of his rights.”
The trial is due to be heard in Manchester on a date to be fixed in July 2021.
David Lock QC and Galina Ward of Landmark Chambers are instructed by Oliver Wright of JMW Solicitors for Mr Anderson.
Evan Wright of JMW solicitors acts for Mr Anderson in the criminal investigation.