‘My pride in serving city’ – MP Rotheram

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Walton MP Steve Rotheram speaking during the Hillsborough debate in Parliament

Walton MP Steve Rotheram has spoken about ‘the best feeling ever’ when it comes to representing his home city in parliament.

Speaking exclusively to JMU Journalism, the Labour MP for Liverpool Walton is honoured to fight for his constituents who live in one of the most deprived areas in Europe.

He said: “It’s the best feeling ever. I mean it, I’m a mad Liverpudlian. I’m not just a Liverpool FC fan but Liverpool as a city. I’m a Scouser.

“For me, despite the fact that some of the policies that the coalition have announced this affects Liverpool more than anywhere else in the country and that’s really annoying.

“But to stand up and have the honour and privilege to be fighting on behalf of somewhere like Liverpool Walton is the best feeling ever.”

Reflecting on the past 12 months, Mr Rotheram feels the most significant moment is the announcement in the House of Commons about the Hillsborough Independent Panel report and its findings.

He said: “Seeing the Prime Minister’s speech that day, you just don’t know how an expression of regret is not just an apology, but a double apology.

“That for me is like a nerve-shattering experience. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything as significant as that in the last 50 years of politics.”

Despite receiving considerable praise for his involvement in the campaign for justice for the victims of Hillsborough, Mr Rotheram also revealed his less-publicised fight against internet trolling.

He told JMU Journalism: “Hillsborough is only one little detail involved in that. I’ve been involved in trolling; I’ve been leading the House of Commons on that.

“It’s not reported as much as Hillsborough and I’ve spent as much time over the last 12 months researching it so the press decide on what people think I’m doing.

“But whilst I’m down there believe me I’m working on hundreds, if not thousands of petitions that affect the lives of the constituents that send me down there every single day.”

The former Lord Mayor of Liverpool also understands the challenges he faces as MP and has taken to social networking sites in order to be as accessible as possible.

He added: “I understand it’s the MPs that lost the trust of the people; we’ve got to win it back. I have five surgeries a month and I also have open surgeries that people can come to.

“Contact-wise, I’m on Facebook and Twitter. People can also email or write in to me and I’m as accessible as an MP can possibly be.”

About Joel Richards, JMU Journalism