Liverpool deputy mayor investigated over gathering
May. 28, 2020
Liverpool's deputy mayor has stepped down while the Labour party investigates footage of a gathering in her garden during lockdown.
Labour councillor Lynnie Hinnigan told the Liverpool Echo it was not a party for her 50th birthday on 9 May and she had stayed away from people.
The Labour party said she has "voluntarily and temporarily" stepped down while it investigates.
Meetings between different households at the same time are currently banned.
The footage shows about 12 people in the garden which is decorated with balloons and bunting. Ms Hinnigan had tweeted about it being her birthday.
Ms Hinnigan told the Liverpool Echo those gathered only dropped off presents and she stayed away from them.
Leader of the Lib Dem opposition, councillor Richard Kemp, had called for her resignation, saying: "Those of us in public life must set an example."
He said it was "vital that swift action is taken when elected representatives of any party transgress clear guidelines for behaviour at this crucial time".
"We cannot demand hard actions from the people of Liverpool yet adopt a different attitude when it comes to our own behaviour," he added.
Ms Hinnigan became one of Joe Anderson's three deputy mayors in 2018.
The BBC has approached her for comment.
In a statement, councillor Ruth Bennett, the chief whip of the Liverpool Labour Group, said: "We have received emails regarding Lynnie Hinnigan and can confirm that she is being investigated.
"In the meantime, she has, in agreement with the mayor, voluntarily and temporarily stepped down from her council roles with immediate effect during the investigation into her actions."
Meanwhile, councillor Barry Kushner, the cabinet Member for children's services, has been suspended of all council duties for two months following an internal Labour group investigation into a gathering outside on land near his home on 9 May.
Mr Kushner previously told the BBC it was not an organised event but that his in-laws had turned up unannounced and six people in a photograph which emerged were from his household.