Rosie Cooper

Rosemary Elizabeth Cooper (born 5 September 1950) is a British Labour Party politician who was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for West Lancashire in 2005.

Rosie Cooper

Member of Parliament
for West Lancashire
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byColin Pickthall
Majority8,336 (15.8%)
Personal details
Born (1950-09-05) 5 September 1950 (age 70)
Liverpool, England
Political partyLabour (1999–present)
Other political
Liberal Democrats (1988–1999)
Liberal (until 1988)
Alma materUniversity of Liverpool

Early life and career

Cooper was born in Liverpool, the daughter of deaf parents.[1][2] She was educated at St Oswald's Roman Catholic Primary School, Old Swan, Bellerive Convent Grammar School, and the University of Liverpool.

Cooper originally worked for a company called W. Cooper Ltd from 1973 to 1980, before joining Littlewoods initially as a buyer when, in 1994, she became the public relations manager and then, in 1995, the group corporate communications manager. She became a project coordinator in 1999, before she left Littlewoods in 2001, when she was appointed director at the Merseyside Centre for the Deaf.

She was a member of the Liverpool Health Authority and held the position of vice chair between 1994 and 1996. In 1996, she became Chair of Liverpool Women's Hospital.[3]

She has also acted as a trustee of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.[3]

Liberal to Labour

Cooper was elected, aged 22, to the Liverpool City Council as a Liberal councillor in 1973 and, in 1992, became the Lord Mayor of Liverpool; she stood down from the city council in 2000.

She fought her first Westminster campaign at the 1983 General Election when she was selected to contest the Conservative-held seat of Liverpool Garston as a Liberal. She finished in third place, with more than 14,000 votes behind the winner, Labour's Eddie Loyden.

Next, Cooper contested the 1986 Knowsley North by-election, caused by the resignation of the Labour MP Robert Kilroy-Silk to become a television presenter. At the by-election, Labour retained the seat with George Howarth gaining a comfortable margin of 6,724 votes; when Cooper contested the seat again a few months later at the 1987 General Election she finished 21,098 votes behind Howarth.

At the 1992 General Election, now a Liberal Democrat, she was back in her native Liverpool, coming second at Liverpool Broadgreen 7,027 votes behind Labour's Jane Kennedy, but ahead of the former deselected Labour MP Terry Fields.

From 1973 to 1996, Cooper was councillor for the Broadgreen ward. From 1996 to 2000, Cooper represented the Allerton ward, before in 1999 she switched to the Labour Party, and stood in Netherly ward in 2000. She contested the European Parliament elections in 2004 for Labour in the North West.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career

Cooper became the Labour Party's candidate from an all-female short list, in the constituency of West Lancashire at the 2005 General Election, following the retirement of the sitting MP Colin Pickthall. Cooper was first elected to the House of Commons at her fifth attempt and third party with a majority of 6,084. She made her maiden speech on 24 May 2005.[4] In September 2005, Cooper, as part of the Labour Friends of Israel, made an official research visit to Israel.[5] In September 2020, she was appointed a vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel.[6]

Since 2005, she has been a member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, and was part of the successful campaign that stopped the merger of the Southport and Ormskirk hospitals. In June 2006, she became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Rooker, a Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.[citation needed]

On 9 August 2006, The Daily Telegraph wrote that Cooper had written to the Prime Minister's office reporting the viewpoint of some of her constituents expressed to her, that they would be appalled if Baroness Thatcher were to be given a state funeral, as a leader more politically divisive than others of the late twentieth century.[7]

In 2007, she became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ben Bradshaw, initially when he was Minister of State in the Department of Health until 2009, when she remained his PPS when he was made Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. She is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Health Select Committee.[3]

In August 2013, she became one of the few Labour MPs to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which eventually passed with cross-party support.[8]

On 26 October 2017, a 31-year-old man, Christopher Lythgoe, associated with the proscribed neo-Nazi terror group National Action, was charged with encouragement to murder Cooper, and was also charged along with six other men with being members of a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.[9] On 12 June 2018, Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, admitted in a guilty plea to buying a 48 cm (19 in) replica Roman Gladius sword (often wrongly referred to in the media as a machete) to kill Rosie Cooper the previous summer.[10] In July 2018, Lythgoe was jailed for eight years for being a member of the group and his part in the plot to murder Cooper.[11]

Cooper was reelected at the 2019 general election.

In 2020 Cooper called for the Nursing and Midwifery Council to be "replaced with a body which can instil confidence" after a nurse, who was found guilty of bullying, was only handed a 12-month suspension.[12]

Cooper supported Lisa Nandy in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election.[13]


  1. Pattinson, Rob (7 May 2013). "MP Rosie Cooper made honorary alderman at Liverpool town hall ceremony". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  2. "West Lancashire: Labour party candidate Rosie Cooper". Liverpool Echo. 13 March 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  3. "Rosie Cooper". Health Select Committee. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  4. Hansard, 24 May 2005
  5. "Changes to the Register of Members' Interests: Rosie Cooper". They Work For You. 10 April 2018.
  6. Harpin, Lee (9 September 2020). "Labour Friends of Israel announces six new vice-chairs". The jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  7. "Blair attacked over veto on state funeral for Lady Thatcher". The Daily Telegraph. London. 9 August 2006.
  8. George Eaton, "Labour and Lib Dem MPs who voted against gay marriage: full list", New Statesman, 6 February 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  9. Perraudin, Frances (26 October 2017). "Man charged with encouragement to murder an MP". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  10. Khomami, Nadia (12 June 2018). "Alleged neo-Nazi admits plotting murder of MP Rosie Cooper". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  11. Two members of banned neo-Nazi group National Action jailed Nadia Khomami, The Guardian, 18 July 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  12. "NMC should be 'replaced with a body which can instil confidence', says MP". NursingNotes. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  13. "Here are the 23 MPs backing Wigan's Lisa Nandy in the Labour Party leadership contest". Retrieved 9 February 2020.

News items

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Colin Pickthall
Member of Parliament for West Lancashire