Liam is the MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, and Chief Secretary to HM Treasury.
The youngest member of the Cabinet, he was formerly the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, responsible for the co-ordination of policy across Government. He oversaw the development of the Government’s Real Help Now campaign, the New Opportunities White Paper, designed to boost social mobility, and re-organised the Cabinet Office to focus harder on public service reform, set out in Working Together. He also chairs the Council of Regional Ministers.
Previously, Liam was Minister of State for Borders and Immigration at HM Treasury and the Home Office, where he created the new UK Border Agency, designed the points system to control migration, doubled the immigration policing budget, legislated for compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals and created the concept of ‘earned citizenship’ for newcomers. In addition, Liam served as Minister for the West Midlands, where he helped seal the £0.5 billion deal for a new New Street station. His work has earned him the Spectator magazine’s Minister to Watch award in 2007 and a place on the House magazine’s shortlist for Minister of the Year in 2008.
Elected in the Hodge Hill by-election in July 2004 on the night Labour lost in Leicester East, Liam was made a Department of Health minister within nine months, where he introduced pioneering individual budgets, oversaw the 2006 White Paper and put dignity in care centre-stage. He was nominated as Older Peoples’ Champion of the Year by Help the Aged for his work. Liam was made Minister of State for Police and Counter-Terrorism in May 2006 before the Home Secretary asked him to lead the re-organisation of the immigration system and the Home Office.
Educated at Burnt Mill Comprehensive School in Harlow, Liam started working life as a part-time worker at McDonalds. He went on to graduate at the top of his class with first class honours in Politics and Modern History at Manchester University, winning the Robert McKenzie Prize for political science, his first book contract and election to the (sabbatical) leadership of the students’ union, Labour Students’ National Committee and NUS National Council. He took his MBA with honours at the Harvard Business School where he was a Fulbright Scholar, co-chaired the summer ball committee and the Leadership and Ethics Forum and co-wrote the Tara column for Harbus from a bar off Brattle Street .
Before entering Parliament, Liam, was a technology entrepreneur, co-founding the European-wide eCommerce company, eGS Group. Beginning on a kitchen table, he spent four years building the business into what is now the most successful public sector e-procurement exchange in Europe. Previously, he worked for merchant bankers, NM Rothschild and multi-national consulting firm, Accenture. Between 1996 and 1997 he advised the Labour Party on the re-organisation of Millbank and helped lead its national business campaign.
Liam has written widely about public service reform, economic development, and shared values. His publications include the textbook, Local Government Transformed (1996), Information Age Government (1998), Cities of Enterprise (2002), Britain in 2020 (2003), Reinventing Government Again (with Phil Collins) (2004), Why Labour Won (2005), A Common Place (2007) and Progressive Britishness (forthcoming).
Born in Warrington in October 1970, Liam joined the Labour Party when he was 15 and today lives in Birmingham with his wife Sarah and three children, Alex (8), John (6) and Elizabeth (4). He is a member of Unite, the Fabian Society and the Christian Socialist Movement. He co-founded the Young Fabian magazine, Anticipations, was one of Progress’ first editors, was founding treasurer of the Centre for European Reform, and is a former Associate Fellow of the Social Market Foundation.
Liam’s interests include running half marathons (best time 1 hour 56 minutes), surfing, English church architecture, and astronomy. He is slowly writing a history of great British entrepreneurs.