The president of a North Liverpool housing association has called on the Labour Party to remove a councillor from the ballot if they wish to use the association’s village hall as a polling station.
Tony McGann, 84, lifetime president of the Eldonian housing association, has written to the Labour Party calling on them to remove councillor Joe Hanson (Lab) from the ballot for Kirkdale ward.
Mr McGann has told the Labour Party that Eldonian Village Hall on Burlington Street will not be available as a polling station if Cllr Hanson remains on the ballot ahead of the Liverpool Council elections on May 6. Mr McGann is a director of the company that owns the village hall.
“The party should take action and not allow him to represent Labour in this coming election.”
In the letter to regional party bosses Mr McGann was critical of Cllr Hanson’s in his role on the board of the Eldonians.
Speaking to the ECHO Mr McGann said that he also felt Cllr Hanson was too closely linked with former Mayor Joe Anderson, whose time in office was heavily criticised by government inspector Max Caller.
Mr McGann said to the ECHO: “The Caller report was deeply troubling. Unfortunately I feel that Cllr Hanson was just too closely associated with the Anderson administration that has been so publicly criticised.”
The ECHO has approached Cllr Hanson for comment on all the claims made by Mr McGann.
Liverpool Council declined to comment on the matter.
The ECHO understands that the local authority has contingency plans in place for circumstances in which a polling station is unavailable.
The Labour Party declined to comment.
Mr McGann, who was awarded the freedom of the city in 2017, was the galvanising force behind the formation of the Eldonian housing association, which was formed in the early 1980s when the city was slumped in the depths of recession.
The housing association went on to build hundreds of new homes on the banks of the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Mr McGann was recognised with an OBE and MBE and even received an award from the United Nations.
In other parts of the letter Mr McGann acknowledges his long association with the Labour movement.
He said: “I have welcomed many leaders of the party and campaigned in every election extensively for the Labour movement , decade after decade.
Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what’s on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here
“I am well known for my fight against the militants that once infected the city. I have always been the first man to support the party that I have always believed in.”
Earlier this week it emerged that the Labour Party wanted to figuratively “break people’s legs” as it launched its own review of the many issues identified by Mr Caller.
And in a piece by HuffPost’s Paul Waugh, senior national party figures have revealed the internal tensions around the planned review – and what they want to achieve.
Former Labour minister David Hanson will lead the review into Liverpool and will be assisted by former Leeds Council leader Judith Blake.
Find your nearest vaccination centre by entering your postcode below
A Labour spokesperson said: “Labour has appointed former Minister David Hanson to lead its review of the issues raised by the Caller report into Liverpool City Council. He will be assisted by Judith Blake, the former Leader of Leeds Council.
“Our priority is the people of Liverpool. We will do whatever it takes to tackle the problems set out in the report. And we pay tribute to the vast majority of hard-working, decent and honest people working at the council and as elected officials whose dedication will help to pull us through this difficult time.”