The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has been arrested as part of a fraud investigation.
Anderson, who has led Liverpool for a decade, was one of five men arrested across Merseyside on Friday in an investigation into building and development contracts in the city. He is being interviewed by police on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
Merseyside police have not named any of the men arrested, but the Guardian has been told by several sources that the 62-year-old is one of those being held.
A Liverpool city council spokeswoman said: “Liverpool city council is co-operating with Merseyside police in relation to its ongoing investigation. We do not comment on matters relating to individuals.”
The others arrested are: a 72-year-old man from Aigburth, on suspicion of witness intimidation; a 33-year-old man from West Derby, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation; a 46-year-old man from Ainsdale, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation; and a 25-year-old man from Ormskirk, on suspicion of witness intimidation.