Liam Thorp

Liverpool Echo

As the Political Editor for the Liverpool Echo - one of the biggest brands in regional news - I pride myself on leading the agenda and breaking the stories that matter most to the people of Merseyside.

Over the past couple of years, my reporting has been dominated by the chaos surrounding Liverpool City Council and this makes up the bulk of my submission for this prestigious award. Having been the first to break the story of the arrest of Mayor Joe Anderson in December 2020, I reported extensively on the government inspection of the council that followed. This reporting resulted in a string of exclusives and front page splashes that would send shockwaves around the country. Following my dramatic coverage of the inspection report which saw government commissioners installed at the council, I was able to exclusively reveal that the inspectors had found former Mayor Anderson's son's company had been handed a major contract by the council despite huge concerns over their qualifications for the job. I was also the first to exclusively report that the council's Regeneration Director had been sacked by the city council having previously been arrested as part of the police's corruption investigation. My reporting and exclusive stories from that initial council inspection generated a string of huge front pages and hundreds of thousands of digital page views. Just over a year later and having exclusively reported that the city council's chief executive had resigned, I was again the first to reveal that the government would be expanding its intervention into the city council in what is now an effective full takeover of what of a major city and its council. The city council's situation over the past few years has been unprecedented and I have been proud to have been at the forefront of reporting on this remarkable and chaotic period using my sources and my skills and determination to be first with the news. Another major issue impacting the people of Merseyside is the devastating cost of living crisis. I have been reporting on this extensively and have included one of my key features, which brought home to many people the incredible challenges facing so many. My work on the cost of living has been widely shared and praised across social media. Our entire newsroom was heartbroken and shocked when nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot dead in Liverpool. We all kicked into gear to make sure our reporting of this traumatic incident was the best it could be. As Political Editor I was able to use my knowledge and sources to convey what the feeling was in the local area and reveal that key warnings had been issued about a rise in gun violence locally. I consider my job an absolute privilege and I am proud of the millions of people who have turned to my coverage in recent years. Winning this award in previous years has been a huge honour and it would mean the world to me to be considered again.