Bessbrook native elected Labour MP in Merseyside

May 11, 2015

Across the water, south Armagh man Conor McGinn, clinched victory for the Labour party when he was successfully elected as MP for the St. Helen’s North constituency on Merseyside.

The son of former Sinn Fein Councillor Pat McGinn, the Bessbrook native has made a name for himself in political circles since moving to London as an 18-year-old to attend university.  Joining the Labour party soon after, he quickly rose through the ranks and was among the youngest ever council candidates at the age of 21.

McGinn’s victory in the constituency where he now lives was comprehensive, polling 26,378 votes and trouncing his nearest rival Paul Richardson of the Conservatives on 9,087.  He also increased the party’s majority by 4,000.

However McGinn’s victory was somewhat of an exception in what was a bruising election defeat for Britain’s Labour Party, ultimately prompting its leader Ed Milliband to resign.  In his victory speech, Mr McGinn acknowledged his party’s disappointing showing.

“The message from St Helen’s is loud and clear – this is a Labour borough. St Helens North stands proud today, as it always has done. I as a Member of Parliament will stand with people here as we meet the future challenges ahead,” he said.

“I want to finish by paying tribute to Dave Watts, the man I succeed. Dave has served people here for 39 years as a councillor and MP. I feel honoured to be spoken of in the same breath.”

The new MP’s dad, Pat, expressed his pride in his eldest son’s victory, tweeting a picture of the pair at the top Camloch mountain and added: ‘My family proud of election of @ConorMcGinn as MP for St Helen’s North.  No doubt he will serve his constituents well’.

The former St. Paul’s High School pupil said he was proud of his roots and grateful to his family and friends from Camloch and Bessbrook who, he said, have been a constant source of support and encouragement.  Married to Kate Groucutt, a political adviser, the couple have a one-year-old son Tomás and are frequent visitors to the area.

Mr McGinn’s first engagement as MP was at a commemoration on Friday to mark VE Day.