by Liam Murphy
Walton MP Steve Rotheram formally launched his campaign to become Liverpool city region’s metro mayor this week.
On Monday (January 23) he returned to his home town of Kirkby – one of Merseyside’s least well-off areas where his father had been a councillor and which is still a Labour stronghold – to lay out the policies which he hopes will ensure he is elected next May.
With six Labour controlled councils within the Liverpool city region Steve Rotheram is unquestionably the front-runner come the vote on May 4, but that is only his first hurdle. He will then chair a “cabinet” of local council leaders, controlling the combined authority and will need to secure their support for much of what he wants to do.
At the campaign launch Rotheram, who has been Jeremy Corbyn’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, was accompanied by many local (Labour) MPs and introduced his campaign slogan “One Of Us”.
Some might recall this was the title of the Hugo Young biography of Margaret Thatcher. The title phrase was said to epitomise that 70s/80s era. According to Young, Mrs T would ask “Is he one of us” (it was almost always a “he”) and through that query sought to seek assurance that potential recruits were ideologically sound and of the Thatcherite mindset before they could be accepted into the Iron Lady’s inner circle.