A WIRRAL-based charity supporting seafarers has urged the maritime minister to relocate her department to Merseyside.

John Wilson, chief executive of Liverpool Seafarers Centre - based in Eastham and Crosby - wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suggest Liverpool as a suitable new home for the maritime department.

In reply Kelly Tolhurst MP, minister for aviation, maritime and security, wrote she was working closely with wider crosscutting programmes to consider options for relocating civil service and 'arms length' roles out of London to other UK regions.

Mr Wilson was prompted to get in touch over speculation that the government will relocate some departments to areas outside London.

In his letter, he wrote: "The maritime office within the department, in my opinion, will be suited to locate to a maritime city.

"I am therefore suggesting, if this might be in your vision, Liverpool city be a suitable candidate for consideration. With its maritime history, the present and future of the nation’s dependence upon maritime trade, not only with our present trading partners, but with the future in mind of new opportunities, Liverpool's geographical location is ideal.

"That the infrastructure of connectivity to the rest of the country is well placed, together with the added advantage of HS2 speaks volumes."

In reply, Mrs Tolhurst said the Government was committed to levelling up across the UK and the administration of Government needed to be less London-centric.

Her letter continued: "We want to ensure we are realising the full potential of the country and delivering opportunity across the UK, including in northern cities such as Liverpool, through local industrial strategies, devolution deals and city deals.

"I hope to visit Liverpool in the coming months and look forward to seeing first-hand all the exciting developments which are taking place."

Mr Wilson said: "There is no better place for the Government to base its maritime headquarters than the great port city of Liverpool, known and respected around the world for its seafaring tradition."