The Mayor of Liverpool has been suspended from the Labour Party after he was arrested in connection with a fraud probe into building deals in the city, sources have said.
Joe Anderson, 62, has been taken to a police station for questioning on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
Merseyside Police said five men had been arrested on Friday as part of an investigation into building and development contracts in Liverpool.
It is understood the mayor has been suspended from the Labour Party following his arrest.
A 62-year-old man, from Old Swan in Liverpool, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation, police said.
A 33-year-old man from West Derby, Liverpool, and a 46-year-old man, from Ainsdale in Southport, are suspected of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
A 25-year-old man from Ormskirk, Lancashire, and a 72-year-old man from Aigburth in Liverpool were also detained on suspicion of witness intimidation.
Liverpool City Council did not deny that the mayor had been arrested, simply saying in a statement: "Liverpool City Council is co-operating with Merseyside Police in relation to its ongoing investigation. We do not comment on matters relating to individuals."
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson (R) arrive to watch a parade of military personnel to mark Armed Forces Day in Liverpool, northern England on June 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L), Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson (C) and Vice Chief of Defence Staff, General Gordon Messenger (R) watch a parade of military personnel to mark Armed Forces Day in Liverpool, northern England on June 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Finance minister George Osborne (L) speaks to Liverpools' mayor Joe Anderson at the opening of the International Festival for Business 2016 at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool on June 13, 2016. / AFP / JON SUPER (Photo credit should read JON SUPER/AFP via Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Margaret Aspinall and the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson sing "you'll never walk alone" along with thousands of people outside Liverpool's Saint George's Hall as they attend a vigil for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy on April 27, 2016 in Liverpool, England. The civic commemoration event marks the outcome of the fresh inquests into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 football supporters were crushed to death, and concluded yesterday with a verdict of unlawful killing. Relatives, Liverpool supporters and members of the public are taking part in the vigil at St George's Hall where a candle is lit for each of the 96 victims who lost their lives during a crush at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989.. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Mr Jayalal Madde and his family has become the first to buy a house from the Council for £1. Liverpool City Council Mayor Joe Anderson handed the keys over to the taxi driver. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Liverpool Lord Mayor Joe Anderson and The Bishop of Liverpool James Jones attend The Come Together conference held at Liverpool's Arena Convention Centre. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson and guests at Albert Docks, Liverpool ahead of this Sunday's start of the Clipper Round the World yacht race. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 18, 2017. Photo credit should read: Tim Goode/PA Wire (Photo by Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: The Mayor Liverpool Joe Anderson chats to homless man Jason outside the new Labre House rough sleepers shelter on December 12, 2017 in Liverpool, England. Labre House, named after after the Patron Saint of the homeless, Benedict Joseph Labre, was officially opened by Mayor Joe Anderson today. The new facility is part of Liverpool's major new drive to tackle homelessness in the city. in a break with national government policy, Mayor Anderson has insisted that all people on the streets, even failed asylum seekers who are deemed to have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ will also be helped. The centre will eventually bring together outreach teams to give substance and alcohol support and health services. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson holds a placard as Labour launch their General Election Campaign Bus and slogan at the Invisible Wind Factory on November 7, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images)
Lord Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, Lance Shepherd skipper and Robin Knox-Johnston pose for a photo with the crew of Liverpool 2018 during the naming ceremony at Albert Docks, Liverpool ahead of this Sunday's start of the Clipper Round the World yacht race. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 17, 2017. Photo credit should read: Clint Hughes/PA Wire (Photo by Clint Hughes/PA Images via Getty Images)
SALFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, amd Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, attend a Labour rally ahead of a shadow cabinet meeting on September 02, 2019 in Salford, England. The Labour leader is due to make a major speech in which he will speak about the battle to stop a No Deal Brexit. The weekend saw demonstrations all over the country against Boris Johnson’s move to suspend parliament. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)