Prime Minister Gordon Brown hosted his first Cabinet meeting of 2009 at Liverpool's BT Convention Centre today (Thursday Jan 8th). Ministers gathered at the waterfront venue amid tight security for the event, which aims to make politics less London-centric.
It was only the third time a Prime Minister has called a cabinet meeting outside London or Chequers in almost 90 years and the first time such a meeting has ever been staged in Liverpool. Senior government ministers held a 90-minute Cabinet session at the BT Convention Centre followed by a public Q&A session.
Jacquie Rogers, general manager of the BT Convention Centre, said: "No 10's decision to bring the cabinet meeting to Liverpool is a reflection of the excellence of the venue and the vast strides the city itself has made. "Organising only the third ever Cabinet meeting to take place outside London has been a unique, complex and exciting challenge for the BT Convention Centre team. "Although we may be a relatively new venue, our team has extensive experience of managing high profile and high security political conferences."
She added: "The venue is ideal for events such as the Cabinet meeting because of its world-class facilities and also because it is effectively surrounded on three sides by water, making it extremely secure." Bob Prattey, Jacquie Rogers and Gordon Brown at the BT Convention Centre Liverpool It is the second visit to the BT Convention Centre in recent months for Gordon Brown, who gave an impromptu speech on the British economy at the venue in September.
The event is the latest in a series of high profile conferences for the venue, including the British Council of Shopping Centres, the Liberal Democrats Spring conference and the TUC Annual Congress which takes place later this year. ACC Liverpool is now contributing some £200 million a year to the city region's economy and some 700,000 people have passed through its doors in just 12 months.