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Steve Rotherham

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Steve Rotherham

Steve Rotheram
Member of Parliament
for Liverpool Walton
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Peter Kilfoyle
Majority 19,818 (57.7%)
Lord Mayor of Liverpool
In office
1 May 2008 – 7 May 2008
Preceded by Paul Clark
Succeeded by Mike Storey
Personal details
Born (1961-11-04) 4 November 1961 (age 52)[1]
Anfield, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Sandra Rotheram
Alma mater John Moores University

Steven Philip Rotheram (born 4 November 1961) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton since 2010. He also served as the Lord Mayor of Liverpool from 2008 to 2009 and a Councillor for Fazakerley from 2002 to 2011.[2]

Early life

Rotheram was born in Liverpool in 1961, the son of Harry Rotheram, a Kirkby factory forklift driver and Labour councillor, and Dorothy Rotheram. He was one of eight children. His parent's marriage broke up when Rotheram was in his teens, with Rotheram citing his father's absences due to politics as part of the cause. His secondary education was at Ruffwood School in Kirkby.[3]


Rotheram left school at 16 to become a bricklayer, setting up his own company at the age of 22.[4] He spent eight months rebuilding war torn infrastructure in the Falkland Islands in 1983, an experience that Rotheram did not enjoy. On his return, disillusioned by what he saw as exploitation of employees on UK building sites, he was determined not to work for anyone else again, and set up his own company 'Rotheram Builders'[5] Alongside his work in the construction industry, he studied part-time in order to gain admittance to John Moores University, studying a Masters in Contemporary Urban Renaissance. He worked as a Business Manager for the Learning and Skills Council for many years after graduating, and was elected to represent Fazakerley as a Labour Councillor on Liverpool City Council in 2002. He later served as Lord Mayor of Liverpool from 2008 to 2009, which coincided with Liverpool's period as European Capital of Culture.[6]

Member of Parliament

After incumbent Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle announced that he would be standing down as MP for Liverpool Walton in 2010, Rotheram was overwhelmingly selected to be the Labour candidate securing 101 out of 113 votes cast. At the 2010 general election, Rotheram won the seat with a majority of 19,818, one of the largest majorities in the United Kingdom.[7] Shortly after his election, he was elected to serve on the Communities and Local Government Select Committee where he was influential in challenging Eric Pickles and Grant Shapps on a number of key cuts that they were making. In October 2011, Rotheram joined the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, where he famously asked James Murdoch if he would close The Sun newspaper following the 2011 phone hacking scandal.

Hillsborough disaster

Rotheram has long played a key role in campaigning for the release of all government papers relating to the Hillsborough disaster. In a speech whilst Lord Mayor of Liverpool on the twentieth anniversary of the disaster, he said, "I'm one of the fortunate ones, as I swapped my Leppings Lane ticket for a stand seat 15 minutes before kick-off...if I can go from being a brickie in Kirkby to the Lord Mayor, who knows what these ninety-six people may have achieved in their lives."[8] In October 2011, he gave an emotional speech to the House of Commons where he read out the names of all ninety-six victims so that they would be recorded in Hansard, and called for the release of all government papers relating to the disaster. The speech later won an award as the Parliamentary Speech of the Year.[9] After papers subsequently released in September 2012 showed widespread corruption from South Yorkshire Police, Rotheram called upon Prime Minister David Cameron to issue an apology on behalf of the government, which he later did.[10][11]

Rotheram was the chief organiser of a charity single designed to raise funds to cover the legal costs of the Hillsborough families which attracted the attention of the award-winning music producer Guy Chambers. In September 2012, along with members of The Farm, Mick Jones, and former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, Rotheram arranged for a number of artists to record a cover of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" as "The Justice Collective", in an attempt to reach the coveted Christmas number one.[12] The cover included contributions from artists such as Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, Holly Johnson and Melanie Chisholm, as well as featuring Rotheram himself. On 23 December 2012, it was confirmed that the cover had become Christmas number one, which Rotheram called "an honour".[13]

Personal life

Rotheram is married to Sandra, a psychiatric nurse, and they have three children.[14] He is an avid Liverpool supporter, having owned a season-ticket for many years.


External links

  • [1] The full transcript of Rotheram's Hillsborough debate speech, delivered in the House of Commons on 17 October 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Clark
Lord Mayor of Liverpool
Succeeded by
Mike Storey
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Kilfoyle
Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton
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