Liverpool: First black mayor succeeds race row councillor

Councillor Anna Rothery Image copyright Liverpool City Council
Image caption Councillor Anna Rothery says she wants to be a role model for Liverpool's black community

Liverpool is to have its first black lord mayor after the previous one resigned after sharing a racist video.

Labour Councillor Anna Rothery said she was overwhelmed and excited, adding: "Although I wish the circumstances were different."

The Toxteth-born councillor, who has served on the city council since 2006, will be sworn in on 4 September.

Previous mayor Peter Brennan quit over complaints of "offensive material" he posted last month in a WhatsApp group.

Ms Rothery, who represents the Princes Park ward, said she wanted to be a role model for the black community.

"There is so much to celebrate in this city and I'm proud to be the city's first black lord mayor and I look forward to bringing our communities together," she said.

"I hope that by taking on such a public-facing role I can be a positive role model to young men and women who come from similar backgrounds to me."

'Charity choice'

Ms Rothery has yet to finalise the three charities for her year in office but confirmed one would be the Anthony Walker Foundation.

It was set up after the racially motivated murder of black Liverpool teenager Anthony Walker in 2005.

Ms Rothery has worked on business and community development initiatives for more than 25 years and now works as a consultant for Migrant Workers North West.

In 2012 she became the first Liverpool councillor to address the floor of the United Nations in Geneva.

She is a key player in Operation Black Vote - the scheme to get more black people into politics.

Liverpool city mayor Joe Anderson said: "She will be a credit to the role of Lord Mayor... I know she will be brilliant."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Peter Brennan resigned from the council last week

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