Steve Rotheram secures second term as Metro Mayor

Labour candidate Steve Rotheram will serve another three years as Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor after securing the votes of 198,726 people across the six boroughs. Tony McDonough reports

Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has won re-election

 

Labour’s Steve Rotheram will serve a second term as Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor after securing a resounding victory.

Mr Rotheram secured 198,726 votes in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton, conformably above the 50% threshold needed in the preferential voting system. This means there was no need to count second choice ballots. Turnout was 30.5%.

His victory comes less than 24 hours after his fellow Labour candidate, Joanne Anderson, became Liverpool’s first black female elected Mayor. She had to fight off a strong challenge from independent hopeful Stephen Yip.

The Metro Mayor role was created in 2017 as part of a devotion deal for the city region. Mr Rotheram, who will now serve a second three-year term, has responsible over areas such as transport, housing, skills and employment, energy and the environment and homelessness.

Following his victory, which was announced on Saturday lunchtime, Mr Rotheram Tweeted: “Massive thank you to everybody who has put your faith in me to continue as Labour’s Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the power of devolution and the work I’ve done so far – now the Government has to back further devo (devolution).”

And in his victory speech he added: “The Labour Party is not just a passing vehicle to jump on to promote a personal ideology. The Labour Party is not a football to be kicked around by transient factions. We need to stop saying that we’ll listen and start hearing what people are telling us.”

In Liverpool alone Mr Rotheram won 66,995 of the 100,167 votes cast. Across all six boroughs he comfortably beat his main challenger, Conservative candidate Jade Marsden, who secured 66,702 votes. Next was Green candidate Gary Cargill on 40,211 votes and Liberal Democrat candidate David Newman with 35,049 votes.

Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram in front of a new Merseyrail train. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

One of eight children, Mr Rotheram was born and raised in Kirkby to a stay-at-home mum and forklift truck driver dad. After leaving school with few formal qualifications, he began a bricklaying apprenticeship. He went on to run his own building company before working for the Learning and Skills Council.

He began his political career when he was elected to serve as a councillor in 2002, representing Fazakerley on Liverpool City Council and held the ceremonial title of Lord Mayor of Liverpool during the city’s European Capital of Culture year. In 2010 he was elected Labour MP for Liverpool Walton.

He was perceived as making a slow start as Metro Mayor following the first election and had a tense relationship with the then Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, who had himself coveted the Metro Mayor role.

However, in the last couple of years his stock has risen. He has overseen the introduction of Merseyrail’s new £460m train fleet, pushed forward with a multi-billion pound plan for a tidal energy project on the Mersey and fought successfully to win extra resources from the Government at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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