BRIAN Spencer previously led St Helens Council and served as a local councillor for more than three decades.

Now, the Liberal Democrat is looking to become the new MP of St Helens South and Whiston.

To help get to know Brian a little better we asked him 21 quickfire questions.

Find out what he had to say.



I went to the same school as Marie Rimmer actually, Lowe House, although she was never in the same class. I then left and went underground then, working for the NCB (National Coal Board), full time at college and then an electrical apprenticeship and went to college then. When I was made redundant I went back to college and trained as a trainer until I got my NVQ in training and went into that until I retired in 2006 to take on the leader’s role full time.



I was an electrician and an electrical engineer for the coal board for about 30 years. Having been made redundant in about 1994 I went back to college, retrained full time as a trainer and I worked for a training company.


First car you bought?

I bought a van for £8 off a friend. The second one was £15. My first proper car was a Ford Anglia, £295 from what was Ashall’s then.


Where did you last go on holiday?

I’ve got a friend who lives in Southern Spain, so we go there every year.


What was the last thing you ate?

A bacon sandwich this morning for my breakfast.


When was the last time you cried?

I get a bit weepy sometimes when I watch the television, but recently the death of my brother was a more sorrowful cry.


Favourite St Helens restaurant?

Charlie Chan’s. I knew his dad well.


Favourite St Helens pub?


I tend to drink a lot in Newton-le-Willows, on the High Street in The Oak Tree and the other one at the end, I’ve forgotten the name of it.


What would be your last meal?

Steak and chips.

Where do you do your food shopping?

Sainsbury’s or Marks & Spencer.


Favourite Saints player?

Alex Murphy. Not only when he was a Saints player but what he’s done after. I know Alex personally. He was a fantastic rugby player and coach.


Favourite movie?

I don’t go to the cinema too much but probably things like Jaws and the Bond movies.


Favourite TV series?

I watch the soaps and reality shows. I tend to watch the dramas. I’m watching His Dark Materials at the moment, things like that.


Favourite book?

I’ve got a book at home. I look at it occasionally, it’s famous political quotations. I’m not a good reader in terms of sitting down and reading a book. I tend to not to. I’ve got Joe Gormley’s auto-biography. I tend to read more factual than fiction.


Favourite actor?

Recently in the last few years I’ve enjoyed watching Ian McKellen and the roles he’s played, the character he brings into them. He’s a fantastic actor.


What’s music are you listening to right now?

I like most kinds of music, but my favourite artist of all time was Glen Campbell, who sadly recently died. But it’s not his country and western music I like, I like his ballads and a bit of rock as well. People like that and also Gordon Lightfoot and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I have a listen to that.


Who would play you in the movie of your life?

I’ve often been compared to Phil Collins. Same sort of hairstyle. Probably him really because he did well in Buster.


Any tattoos?

No and I’ve no intention of having any. My son is a tattoo removal expert. You’ve only one body. I don’t mind having my hair cut different or make up, you can wash that off or cut your hair, but you can’t get a tattoo off so easy.


Best gift you’ve ever received?

Probably the gift of life. I tend to have practical gifts. One of the nicest things I got was this three-piece thingy set for hip flasks. That come in handy that did  at conferences.


If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Probably to travel through time to try to go back and alter a few things.


What’s the best piece advice you’ve received?

I’ll always remember from Phil Briers, when he used to be a councillor in St Helens, he said, ‘Brian, whenever you’re out remember you’re always a councillor’. He said he got that advice from somebody else. ‘Even if you’re in your garden have your collar and tie on because that’s how people measure you’. So, it’s a good bit of advice, and always be honest to yourself. Be true to yourself, what you believe in.

If you’ve said it once, if you’ve said you hate Brexit then you should stick to it.