Liverpool's deputy mayor stands down over accusations of lockdown garden party
30 May 2020, 13:09
The deputy mayor of Liverpool has stood down over accusations she had a 50th birthday party in her garden.
Labour Cllr Lynnie Hinnigan said the gathering of people in her garden was organised by her daughter as a surprise and everyone followed social distancing laws.
The city's Labour group is investigating after video emerged on social media of at least 12 people in her garden where a number of chairs were laid out.
In England, gatherings in private gardens have been banned under rules which are being eased on Monday.
Councillor Hinnigan said that no party took place because of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, and guests had just dropped off gifts in a surprise event for her 50th birthday.
She told the Liverpool Echo: "I really wasn't aware that it was happening, it was genuinely a surprise.
"Everyone is finding lockdown hard, not seeing family and friends, but everyone should still follow the rules, stay alert, stay safe and socially distance, which is exactly what I told my daughter and the reason I never left the house.
"I am sorry if this has hurt anyone as it was never mine or my daughter's intention.
"Many other families in our city have struggled throughout this period. We still need to follow the guidance until we can meet face to face again."
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."