The deputy mayor of Liverpool has stepped down while an inquiry takes place into footage of a gathering in her garden during lockdown.
The city’s Labour group is investigating after video emerged on social media of at least 12 people at the home of Lynnie Hinnigan, where a number of chairs were laid out.
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, organised by her daughter.
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.”
The Labour group said Councillor Hinnigan had “voluntarily and temporarily” stepped down from her duties.