Liverpool city mayor election: Stephen Yip to run as independent

Published
image copyrightStephen Yip
image captionStephen Yip said if he was elected he would "rebuild confidence and pride" in Liverpool

The founder of a Liverpool children's charity has announced he will stand as an independent candidate in May's city mayoral election.

Stephen Yip, who was given the Freedom of the City in 2012, started the KIND charity in 1975.

He said the city "needs unity and real leadership", adding that trust in the council had been "shattered" of late.

Mayor Joe Anderson stood aside due to a police investigation and there is a row about who should be Labour's candidate.

Mr Yip, whose charity works with disadvantaged children across Merseyside, pledged to "rebuild confidence and pride" in the city by giving Liverpudlians the chance to "hit the reset button".

'Radical change'

The son of a Chinese seaman, Mr Yip was brought up in the centre of Liverpool and was inspired to start his charity while still a student at Quarry Bank High School.

He said recent events had brought "embarrassment and disgrace" to the city.

Austerity and Covid-19 had "taken a heavy toll" on Liverpool, and "more struggles lie ahead", he said.

His brother David is an actor whose credits include the films A View To A Kill and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the BBC police drama The Chinese Detective.

Analysis

By Claire Hamilton, Political Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

Any independent candidate tends to struggle at the ballot box.

While former BBC journalist Liam Fogarty managed to come second behind Joe Anderson in 2012, he only polled 8% of the vote, miles behind the Labour candidate's 59%.

Four years later, businessman Alan Hutchinson received 4% of the vote, with Mr Anderson securing 52%.

But the chaos over Labour's candidate selection, not to mention the shadow of a government inspection into aspects of the council's operations, mean there could well be some mileage for any candidate who can claim to be an "outsider".

We still don't know who Labour's candidate will be, and there are still plans afoot to try to scrap the role of elected mayor altogether.

We're certainly in for a lively campaign before the polling stations open on 6 May.

Labour veteran Mr Anderson became Liverpool's first directly elected mayor in May 2012 after serving as council leader. He was comfortably re-elected in 2016.

He was suspended from the Labour Party following his arrest in December on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

Mr Anderson said he would not fight for re-election in May due to the ongoing police investigation.

A government inspector appointed to look into the city's finances in the wake of Mr Anderson's arrest is due to publish his report before the end of March.

On Tuesday, Labour scrapped its original three-strong shortlist and the party's members have yet to elect their candidate.

Other candidates announced so far:

  • Roger Bannister (TUSC)
  • Tom Crone (Green)
  • Richard Kemp (Liberal Democrat)

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