The outgoing Mayor of Liverpool has lauded the city’s staging of Eurovision as “one of my cabinet’s better decisions” as she steps back from public life.
Thousands of people descended from across the world as Liverpool hosted a spectacular two weeks of events culminating in the grand final of the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night. Such is the success of the city stepping in to hold the major music event on behalf of Ukraine, this year’s edition has been dubbed by some as the best Eurovision ever.
Among them is the outgoing Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, who has expressed her pride at playing her part in “one of the city’s biggest triumphs” as she steps back from office.
Mayor Anderson is expected to be the last occupant of the role for some time, as Liverpool Council agreed to do away with the post and move to a leader and cabinet model. After being elected to serve in 2021, the city’s first black, female mayor effectively vowed to sack herself and pledged a referendum on the position.
This was then rowed back in favour of a cheaper public consultation. Controversy took hold when the result came in, with an extremely low turnout among city residents, and the council opting to select the leader and cabinet model despite it coming in third behind a committee system and retention of the mayoralty.
When Liverpool Council meets for its annual general meeting on Wednesday, it is expected Liam Robinson, leader of the Labour group, will be confirmed as the first leader of the authority for 13 years following this month’s all-out local elections in which his party secured 61 seats.
Taking to social media, Mayor Anderson said the city’s Eurovision celebrations would “long live in the hearts of scousers.” She wrote: It takes a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes to deliver the ‘best Eurovision ever’.
“Thank you to the staff at Liverpool Council who had the ambition, drive and commitment to deliver it so spectacularly.” The departing Mayor, who signed off on Liverpool’s successful bid for Eurovision, said bringing the show to town was the perfect way for her to exit stage left.
She added, “So, with that, I am proud to bow out on the back of one of my cabinet’s better decisions resulting in one of the city’s biggest triumphs.” The former Princes Park councillor, whose term of office was truncated from a full four year term, thanked the city as she bowed out.
Mayor Anderson said, “As I relish the departure from public life – thank you, Liverpool, for letting me be your Mayor. It’s been emotional.”
Image: Joanne Anderson receiving the key to Eurovision from Mayor of Turin, Stefano Lo Russo. Credit: Culture Liverpool