Spencer Livermore, Baron Livermore
The Lord Livermore
|Born||12 June 1975|
|Alma mater||London School of Economics|
|Occupation||Life Peer and political strategist|
Spencer Elliot Livermore, Baron Livermore (born 12 June 1975) is a British Labour Party strategy and communications professional. On 21 October 2015 he was created a life peer, taking the title Baron Livermore, of Rotherhithe in the London Borough of Southwark.
He served as an adviser to the New Labour government from 1997 to 2008, as Director of Strategy to the Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street and as Chief Strategy Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Treasury.
He also served as a senior adviser on four General Election campaigns: 1997, 2001, 2005, and 2015, with the Guardian describing him as one of the most experienced election campaigners in the Labour Party. Philip Gould described him in The Unfinished Revolution as one of seven people who devised the strategy for the election-winning 2001 and 2005 general election campaigns.
He is now a partner at Britain Thinks, an international insight and strategy consultancy. He is the founder of strategic consultancy Thirty Six Strategy and was Director of Strategy at London-based communications consultancy Blue Rubicon. Previously he was Senior Strategist at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi.
Early and personal life
Livermore grew up in Wickford, Essex and attended Beauchamps High School there and Basildon College, before taking a BSc (Econ) in Government at the London School of Economics, whence he graduated in 1996.
After graduating from LSE, Livermore worked for Gordon Brown, then Labour's Shadow Chancellor, during the 1997 General Election campaign in which the Labour Party under the leadership of Tony Blair returned to power following 18 years in opposition to the Conservative Party. After the campaign he was appointed a Special Adviser in the Treasury, working as a key political aide to Gordon Brown, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1998, he stood unsuccessfully as a Labour candidate for Lancaster Gate on Westminster City Council, which was a safe Conservative ward.
In the run-up to the 2001 General Election, at the request of the Chancellor, who was Chair of Strategy for the election campaign, Livermore went to work alongside the General Election co-ordinator Douglas Alexander, Member of Parliament, at the Labour Party's Millbank Tower headquarters, helping to run the campaign as Director of Research. When he returned to the Treasury after the 2001 General Election, Livermore was appointed as Special Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Livermore helped run the 2005 General Election campaign, acting as Brown's campaign strategist, and working closely with Philip Gould, after which Livermore was appointed as the most senior of Brown's advisers, as Chief Strategy Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, responsible for planning strategic communications, managing qualitative and quantitative research, and developing the Government's economic messaging. During this time, Livermore also worked on a number of US congressional campaigns.
It was subsequently reported that as Chief Strategy Adviser to the Chancellor, Livermore opposed the abolition of the 10p rate of income tax in the 2007 Budget, but was over-ruled by the Chancellor.
Following Tony Blair’s resignation as Prime Minister on 27 June 2007, Gordon Brown, as the new Leader of the Labour Party, became Prime Minister. Gordon Brown appointed Livermore to 10 Downing Street as Director of Strategy, attending Cabinet meetings and with responsibility for strategic planning. He devised the strategy for Gordon Brown's leadership transition in 2007 and Brown's subsequent first 100 days.
In November 2007 Gay Times described him as the "most powerful" gay man in Britain. In December 2007, Pink News listed him as the most powerful gay person in British politics. Livermore was the first of Gordon Brown's advisers to advocate holding an early General Election in the autumn of 2007, writing the initial strategy memo to the Prime Minister setting out this course of action.
After Gordon Brown failed to call a General Election, Livermore left Downing Street in 2008 and joined advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi as Senior Strategist, shaping strategy for clients including Eurostar, the BBC, and Asda. He was the first of Gordon Brown's senior advisers to leave Downing Street, and was replaced in Number 10 by David Muir from WPP.
In September 2009 it was reported that Livermore had been asked by Peter Mandelson to return to Downing Street as Chief of Staff, and by Gordon Brown to run the planning of Labour's election campaign, but that he had declined both offers.
Livermore has said little publicly about his time in Downing Street, although he gave an interview to Steve Richards on BBC Radio 4 in September 2010, setting out the events leading up to the 'non-election' of 2007. He has also written on political strategy for the Guardian newspaper.
After Downing Street Livermore became a Director at London-based communications consultancy Blue Rubicon. He set up and had Board responsibility for the agency's Strategic Consulting arm, developing insight-based communication strategies for multinational companies, including Shell, Coca-Cola, GSK, Lloyds Banking Group, Centrica, and McDonald's.
In 2012, he set up Thirty Six Strategy, where he applied the techniques of political campaign strategy to advise clients on their corporate and brand positioning.
In December 2013 Livermore returned to the political arena when he was appointed the Labour Party's General Election Campaign Director for its unsuccessful 2015 general election. In November 2015 he gave an interview on BBC Radio 4's The World at One, setting out why Labour lost that election.
- "No. 61391". The London Gazette. 27 October 2015. p. 21054.
- editor, Patrick Wintour Political. "Ex-Labour campaign chief calls for report into defeat to be made public". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Boothroyd, David (n.d.). "Lancaster Gate Ward". Westminster City Council Election Results. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Iain Dale's Diary: Pink News Publishes 'Top Gayers in Politics' List. Iaindale.blogspot.com (26 December 2007).
- Writer, Staff. (27 December 2007) Profile: The most powerful gay man in British politics. PinkNews.co.uk.
- "Rage, despair, indecision. Inside Gordon Brown's Number 10". The Observer.
- "Spencer Livermore joins ad industry". The Guardian. (17 March 2008).
- "Nick Robinson's Newslog: Team Brown's a-changing". BBC (17 March 2008).
- "No 10 turns to Alastair Campbell and Gould to advise inexperienced election team". London Evening Standard (14 September 2009).
- Grice, Andrew. (17 September 2010) How 'the election that never was' turned political allies into bitter rivals – UK Politics – UK. The Independent.
- "The Brown Years: Episode 1". BBC iPlayer (21 September 2010).
- "Spencer Livermore: Labour's road to recovery". The Guardian (13 February 2012).
- "Labour's modernisers have to get beyond factionalism if they are to reclaim power | Spencer Livermore". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Spencer Livermore quits SSF for Blue Rubicon. Campaignlive.co.uk (9 January 2009).
- "Blue Rubicon launches strategic arm Thirty Six Strategy". Brand Republic. (22 February 2012).
- "Jeremy Corbyn not learning from Miliband defeat - Livermore". BBC News. Retrieved 22 November 2015.