A LABOUR Councillor from Liverpool will continue to hold his seat and receive taxpayer cash, despite now living in in Spain.
Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, who represents the Kirkdale ward, said he was unable to return from Spain in March 2020 after the country was placed in lockdown, so decided to live there permanently with his wife, yet not resign from his role as a councillor thousands of miles away.
Kennedy said he had fulfilled all his responsibilities as council meetings have been held online during the pandemic, and Liverpool City Council stated that he had not broken any rules.
A FOI request in which the sun-loving Labour politician was nicknamed ‘the invisible councillor’ demanded answers as to why Kennedy had been spending most of his time living in Spain, despite numerous failings of the council and issues of constituents in need of addressing. The request also claimed that the Councillor had been living predominantly in Spain for over twenty years.
In a series of tweets, Mr Kennedy said he has previously split his time between Spain and the UK with his primary address being in Liverpool. However, in March last year, he claims to have travelled to Spain to celebrate his wife’s son’s birthday with plans to return later in the month.
As “the Covid crisis deepened”, Mr Kennedy said he chose to remain abroad to be with his wife who lives in the country.
The Labour councillor has now confirmed that he will not be seeking re-election in 2022 – leaving him with at least another year of claiming taxpayer cash.
A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said: “Cllr Kennedy satisfied eligibility criteria on being nominated to stand for election.
“It is down to individual elected members how they discharge their role and Cllr Kennedy has been attending virtual committee meetings and responding to queries from residents in his ward.”