The Labour mayor of Liverpool has called on Paul Nuttall to resign as a Euro-MP for north west England after he admitted that claims that a number of “close personal friends” had died in the Hillsborough disaster were untrue.
Joe Anderson said Nuttall needed to stand down as an MEP and “explain himself to the people of Liverpool” rather than seek a new political office by contesting next week’s Stoke-on-Trent byelection for Ukip.
Nuttall, who has been Ukip leader for less than three months, initially denied making the claim when interviewed on a Liverpool radio station on Tuesday, then admitted the claim had appeared on his website and was not true, and then said that a party press officer was to blame, as she had written it in his name and posted it on his website.
It later appeared that Nuttall had also made the false claim to the BBC, which reported in August 2011 that he had said that unless key documents relating to the disaster were made public, “we will never get to the bottom of that appalling tragedy when 96 Liverpool fans including close personal friends of mine lost their lives”.
Anderson said: “He’s got some explaining to do and people want answers. The people of Liverpool are upset and angry that someone like him is trying to exploit Hillsborough to portray himself in a good light. This city won’t tolerate it.”
Anderson accused Ukip of “putting up some sort of smokescreen” when it said that the press officer said to have been…