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Camlough-born MP to run for Labour deputy leadership

Camlough-born MP Conor McGinn is to vie for the Labour Party deputy leadership role, it has been reported.

Mr McGinn, who was first elected to the Commons in 2015 as the MP for St Helen’s North, is bidding to succeed the current deputy leader Tom Watson, who announced his resignation on Wednesday last.

Prior to becoming an MP, McGinn was a special advisor to Labour’s former shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Vernon Coaker, in 2011.  He then served as a whip on the front benches for a year before resigning in October 2016 over the removal of shadow chief whip Rosie Winterton in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr McGinn was instrumental in the introduction of same-sex marriage here in the north, having successfully amended Northern Ireland devolution legislation in July to pave the way for its legalisation.

After the amendment passed the Commons, Mr McGinn said: “Having been let down so many times before, LGBT people in Northern Ireland can now look forward to enjoying the same rights as everyone else in the rest of the UK and on the island of Ireland.”

Conor McGinn is the son of former Sinn Fein Councillor and Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, Pat McGinn.

Under new Labour rules, candidates wishing to stand for the deputy leadership of the party require the support of 10% of MPs or 5% of constituency parties or trade unions.