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Conor Patrick McGinn (born 31 July 1984) is a British–Irish Labour Party politician. At the 2015 general election, he became the Member of Parliament (MP) for St Helens North.

Conor McGinn

Member of Parliament
for St Helens North
Assumed office
8 May 2015
Preceded byDavid Watts
Majority18,406 (36.6%)
Personal details
Born (1984-07-31) 31 July 1984 (age 35)
Newry, Northern Ireland
CitizenshipIrish; British[1]
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Kate Groucutt
ChildrenOne son and one daughter
Alma materLondon Metropolitan University

Early lifeEdit

McGinn was born in Camlough, near Newry, County Armagh, Northern Ireland,[2] and brought up in the nearby village of Bessbrook. The village was highly militarised during The Troubles.[3] His mother was an NHS clerical officer, and his father was a Sinn Féin councillor.[3][4]

McGinn went to St Paul's High School, Bessbrook.[5] Before going to university, he worked for the African National Congress in South Africa on a fellowship for two months.[4] He studied at Goldsmiths, University of London, but did not initially complete his degree, remaining in London working for a mental health charity for Irish immigrants, Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy,[5] and later for the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas.[3][6] He later completed his history, politics and Irish studies degree part-time at London Metropolitan University.[6][4]

Political careerEdit

McGinn was chair of the Young Fabians from 2006 to 2007, and has been vice-chair of Young Labour.[6] He stood to be a councillor on Islington London Borough Council in 2006 and 2010 without success.[6][7] He has been on the executive of the Fabian Society and until 2012 was chair of the Labour Party Irish Society.[6] In 2011 he represented the socialist societies on the Labour Party National Executive Committee.[6][8]

He worked as a public affairs and government relations consultant,[6][8] before becoming an advisor to shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Vernon Coaker in 2011, and continued to work for Coaker when he became shadow defence secretary.[8][9]

Post election, he was appointed to the Defence Select Committee and as an Opposition Whip.

McGinn was briefly a communist in his youth, but is now regarded as being on the right of the Labour Party.[3] He is listed as a Parliamentary supporter of both the Labour Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East. He made an visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories in 2014. He supports a two-state solution.[10] McGinn supported Andy Burnham’s bid for the leadership of the Labour Party in 2015.[11][12][13] McGinn nominated Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership election.[14]

In 2016, he was involved in a Twitter spat, which became a media story, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in which McGinn claimed that Corbyn "said that he intended to ring my father", a former Sinn Féin councillor.[15][16] Corbyn's spokesman said the claim was "untrue".[17] The Guardian later reported that McGinn was reporting what other whips had told him, possibly sourced from a Corbyn staff member, rather than directly from Corbyn.[18]

Following the October 2016 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, and the replacement of Dame Rosie Winterton as Chief Whip, McGinn resigned as a whip.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

McGinn lives in Earlestown, Newton-Le-Willows. He is a Roman Catholic.[3] He married Kate Groucutt about 2009, and has a son and a daughter.[5][20] McGinn holds both Irish and British citizenship.


  1. ^ "EU Nationals in the UK - Hansard Online".
  2. ^ "South Armagh man wins Merseyside seat for Labour". Irish Times. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Kevin Schofield (23 May 2016). "Conor McGinn: "People don't feel Labour listens to them, never mind speaks for them"". PoliticsHome. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Owen Bennett (4 August 2015). "Conor McGinn Interview: My Dad Stood For Sinn Fein But Harriet Harman Is A Hero To Me". Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Mark Hennessy (21 March 2015). "A Northern Irish candidate for a northern English stronghold". Irish Times. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Tim Carr; Iain Dale; Robert Waller (2015). The Politicos Guide to the New House of Commons 2015. Biteback Publishing. ISBN 9781849549240. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  7. ^ Mark Hennessy (7 May 2010). "Final hunt for votes in battleground borough". Irish Times. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "Conor McGinn appointed as political adviser to Vernon Coaker". BBC News. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Conor McGinn named as St Helens North's candidate". St Helens Reporter. 8 February 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Labour Visit to Meet Israeli and Palestinian Leaders". Vernon Coaker MP. 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  11. ^ Tom Belger (15 August 2015). "St Helens North MP urges Labour members not to back Corbyn as he reveals his second preference". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  12. ^ Andy Moffatt (27 June 2016). "McGinn tweets support for sacked Hilary Benn". St Helens Reporter. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Labour 'losing touch with working class' - Conor McGinn". BBC News. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  14. ^ Tom Belger (21 July 2016). "This MP's photo perfectly captures the awful state Labour is in right now". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Corbyn faces 'bully' accusations from Labour MP". ITV News. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  16. ^ Darren McCaffrey (22 July 2016). "Labour MP: Corbyn Tried To 'Bully Me'". Sky News. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  17. ^ Simpson, Fiona (22 July 2016). "Jeremy Corbyn 'threatened to ring Labour MP's father over criticism'". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  18. ^ Peter Walker (22 July 2016). "Corbyn denies threatening to phone MP's father over row". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  19. ^ Rajeev Syal (9 October 2016). "Two Labour MPs resign as whips after Rosie Winterton sacking". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  20. ^ "MP Conor McGinn delivers daughter on living room floor". BBC news. 29 October 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Watts
Member of Parliament
for St Helens North

Party political offices
Preceded by
Prema Gurunathan
Chair of the Young Fabians
Succeeded by
Mark Rusling
Preceded by
Keith Vaz and Simon Wright
Socialist societies representative
on the Labour Party National Executive Committee

With: Keith Vaz
Succeeded by
James Asser and Keith Vaz