The Lord Mayor of Liverpool has today (July 30) stepped down from his ceremonial role with immediate effect.
Councillor Peter Brennan, a ward member for Old Swan, tendered his resignation to Liverpool City Council following several complaints relating to a video containing offensive material that was sent to a WhatsApp group last night.
The nature of the incident has been referred to the Labour party.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, has issued this statement in the wake of the incident:
“This morning, I was shocked and appalled to see a racist video that was circulated by our Lord Mayor Cllr Peter Brennan. Racist language and behaviour is inexcusable and unforgivable in all its forms.
“The video is completely at odds with my values, the values of Liverpool City Council and all who live and work across the city. The hurt that this will have caused to people across the city, including members of my own family is unacceptable from someone who we have given the honour to act as our first citizen.
“I have spoken to Cllr Brennan this morning and after that conversation he has agreed to stand down immediately from the office of Lord Mayor. I have also referred the matter to the Labour Party regionally and nationally. His position as a member of the Labour Party will be dealt with in accordance with party rules.
“The actions I have taken needed to be taken immediately and make clear that anyone, no matter who you are in politics, you will be held to account.
“This appalling video was circulated 14 years to the day since the promising and talented Merseyside teenager Anthony Walker was brutally murdered in a horrific racist attack.
“Liverpool is an open and inclusive city that welcomes people from all backgrounds and faiths. We celebrate and encourage diversity, we are the world in one city. Just days ago, 12,000 people turned out to show their solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community at Liverpool Pride.
“On behalf of the people of Liverpool I apologise for the offence and hurt caused.”
A replacement for Lord Mayor of Liverpool will be announced shortly.