Meet Joanne Anderson. The First Black Woman Elected Mayor of a Major British City.
Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Joanne Anderson has fulfilled a promise made by Jeffrey Corybn to “break with the traditional way of doing politics” by becoming the first Black woman, and first woman of color, to lead a major UK city.

Anderson, 51, a member of the Labour party, helped the center-left group retain the mayoralty in Liverpool despite a litany of corruption allegations surrounding the previous incumbent. Independent candidate Stephen Yip, founder of the children’s charity Kind Liverpool, came second with 32,079 votes to Joanne Anderson’s 46,493.

With her history-making appointment, Anderson succeeded Joe Anderson — no relation — and proceeded to apologize for the previous administration’s mistakes and dubious calculations. 

“The first thing I want to do is apologise to the city for what’s happened in terms of the Caller investigation and what’s happened under the previous administration,” Ms. Anderson said to UK’s The Independent shortly after her win. “I’ve stood up because I want to make this right and I will do everything in my power to make it right.” Her next step was to promise the city with a pledge to give residents an “accountable and transparent” authority that the “people of Liverpool deserve.”

Joanne Anderson is an equality and diversity consultant by profession, who has gone on record to say her mayoral run will “impact [girls] thinking about what they can and cannot achieve,” and promises this won’t be the only thing she shakes up. “Just by being in the room, as a Black woman, it will make a difference to the tone and culture here.” She also said she wants to support putting “people over profit” and get rid of the position of elected mayor in an attempt to ditch past and present councillors involved in the Caller scandal. 

Anderson’s victory for the Labour party in Liverpool comes amid nationwide victories for Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, who boosted their parliamentary majority with last week’s election results, according to Reuters.


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