Metro Mayor Profile: Steve Rotheram – Liverpool City Region


Category: Liverpool City Region, Mayoral Election 2017


Prior to entering politics, Rotheram was a bricklayer with his own company for many years. He became a councillor on Liverpool City Council in 2002, where he was also Lord Mayor of Liverpool for two years prior to becoming MP for Liverpool Walton in 2010. He increased his majority by 7,000 in 2015. He was Jeremy Corbyn’s Parliamentary Private Secretary from September 2015. Rotheram stood down from his seat after winning the race – it’s not clear yet who will replace him. Steve blogged for DevoConnect last year on using the mayoralty to lessen the north/south divide in England.

Steve Rotheram’s priority areas

  • Transport: ensuring HS2 goes via Liverpool, promoting the expansion of the Port of Liverpool, and improving the local network with tunnel toll discounts and maximising the potential of the Bus Services Bill.

  • Promoting Liverpool City Region: both globally, as a city of culture and for investment, but also advocating for the relocation of government institutions including Channel 4.

  • Housing: creating a city-wide organisation to deliver new homes to rent and buy, a Mayor’s Housing Challenge for innovative models, and convening a housing summit in the early days of office.

Read Steve Rotheram’s manifesto here


Steve Rotheram beat Joe Anderson, the current Mayor of Liverpool and as of Friday ex-chair of the combined authority, for the Labour candidacy, and the two have had spats in the past. Given that Anderson failed to replace Rotheram as MP for Walton (losing to Daniel Carden, previously an aide of Len McLuskey), this tension will need to be overcome. Rotheram is close to Andy Burnham and has talked of a ‘North-West’ powerhouse, ending the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester.

Facing some of the worst council and public sector cuts in the country, Anderson described 2017 as ‘looking over the abyss’ for Liverpool. It is also one of the biggest recipients of EU funding – and while its devolution investment fund will go some way to addressing these losses, Rotheram, who has no ministerial experience, has a serious challenge. For the Government to agree on further devolution Liverpool City Region he may well want to follow Anderson’s footsteps and avoid 1980s style conflict with central Government.

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