Liam graduated at the top of his class at Manchester University, winning the Robert Mackenzie prize for political science and the leadership of Manchester Student Union, before going onto to win a Fulbright scholarship to the Harvard Business School where he took his MBA with honours.
After founding a high growth technology start-up, he won the tightly fought Hodge Hill by-election in 2004 and was asked to undertake some of the hardest jobs in government – in the Home Office, Downing Street and HM Treasury, creating the UK Border Agency, reorganising No 10 for Gordon Brown, and drawing up Labour’s deficit reduction plan for Alistair Darling.
In Opposition, Liam has chaired Labour’s policy review, led the Shadow Work and Pensions team, and served as the Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills. Today, he chairs the cross-party think tank on progressive economics, Inclusive Growth and is the Shadow Digital Minister.
Liam has written extensively about economic history, development and foreign affairs. His history of British capitalism Dragons: Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain was published in 2016. He is also the author of Black Flag Down: Counter Extremism, Defeating ISIS and Winning the Battle of Ideas; and Turning to Face the East: How Britain Prospers in the Asian Century.
He is board member of the Great Britain China Centre, and governor of the Institute of Government and lives in Birmingham with Sarah, their children and a highly excitable English pointer.