Lord Mayor of Liverpool Biography

Councillor Richard Kemp CBE
2024 – 2025

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool is known as the first citizen and is the chosen representative of the city, acting as a focal point for the community as well as promoting Liverpool and forging national and international links. The Lord Mayor of Liverpool is always a serving councillor, elected by the full city council at its Annual General Meeting which is held each May, and stands for one year in office. The Lord Mayor’s duties include:

  • Representing the city at civic functions/engagements
  • Promoting the city nationally and internationally
  • Supporting local charities and community groups
  • Attending religious events of all denominations
  • Meeting delegates from twinned cities
  • Chairing meetings of the Full Council
  • Conferring Honorary Freemen and Freedom of Associations and Institutions.

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE came to Liverpool in 1974 and was elected for the first time in 1975. He was no stranger to Liverpool as his mother came from Walton and his uncle owned a shop on Scotland Road. His mother marched off to war in 1943 and joined the WAAF where she met Richard’s father who was in the RAF on a radar site in Lincolnshire.

Richard has been a councillor for several wards in the city and is now the councillor for the Penny Lane Ward. Richard has fulfilled many roles including chairing committees and sub-committees, being a Cabinet Member, member of the Police Authority and the Fire Authority. His last job before becoming the Deputy Lord Mayor was as Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and Opposition.

He was awarded a CBE in 2011 for public service to local government, regeneration and housing.

Outside the council, Richard was vice-chair and Liberal Democrat Leader at the Local Government Association for eight years and for ten years he represented the UK on United Cities & Local Government, the world body for councils and regional bodies.

He chairs QS ImpACT, a global charity which supports young people in communities and universities who are interested in delivering the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ in their community.

Richard’s Lady Mayoress is his wife, Alderwoman Erica Kemp CBE, who is no stranger to the Town Hall. She was a councillor for 23 years and was the Lord Mayor of Liverpool in 2014 – 2015. She was awarded a CBE in 2014 for political and public service.

Richard and Erica have three children and five grandchildren who play a major part in their lives.  Their youngest daughter, Rachel served as Lady Mayoress to her mother.

Richard’s year in office will be influenced by Erica’s time as Lord Mayor as well as seeing 40 other Lord Mayors at work.

Richard wants to get out into the community and thank those who are tackling the serious problems faced by too many young people in our city. In particular, he wants to concentrate on providing care leavers and children from deprived areas with experiences that will enrich their lives.

That is why his partners will be The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Liverpool Council for Voluntary Services, National Museums Liverpool and the Community Foundation for Lancashire & Merseyside. They will receive huge support throughout the year from Lunya, the Spanish restaurant on Hanover Street.

Said Richard: “It is a huge honour to be Lord Mayor and first citizen of Liverpool. Although I knew Liverpool well when I moved here, I did not know that I would spend the rest of my life in the city, but this is where I have lived for 50 years. When I catch the train at Euston wherever I have been, I have always thought I am almost home back to the city I love surrounded by the people that I love.

Outside London, no other city has the number of listed buildings that Liverpool does or has a population that is so friendly and welcoming as we see when we host people from all over the world for a wide range of events.

“Without the warmth, friendship, and resilience of locally born and incoming Scousers our city would be in a much worse place. I want to celebrate their achievements as I point out to the world the great place that Liverpool is to live, work and play.”

If you think you can help raise money for The Lord Mayor’s Partnership please contact Liverpool Town Hall on 0151 351 2200 or email [email protected]  or by visiting www.giveasyoulive.com/join/lord-mayor-of-liverpool to donate.