• NHS and cost-of-living are key election issues

    Conor at Garswood Care Centre

    CONOR McGinn says the issues of the NHS and the economy are at the forefront of voters minds as he hits the campaign trail in the weeks leading up to the general election.

    The Labour candidate, regarded as the heavy favourite to take the seat in St Helens North vacated by Dave Watts, said: “While out in Newton I met an 18-year-old and asked him what issues concerned him expecting something like student loans or international development.

    “He told me he was an apprentice engineer who has a secure job but he was worried about the economy and wanted to own his own house. He was worried about the future and wanted his MP to be on his side.

    “I told him about policies to build 200,000 new homes but people are concerned about things relevant to them and they want an MP to fight their corner. I met a woman recently retired as a paramedic and was concerned about the NHS. I told her there would be no top down reorganisation under Labour. But I did tell her that there was a lot of work to do to undo the damage done by this coalition government.

    “When you get down to the nitty gritty there is a choice between Labour and Conservative. People have been giving me a tough line of questioning and have challenged me about policies.

    “I have found people are well informed about things and are engaged with the system. There is a scepticism about the ability of politicians to change things and I’m telling people I don’t have all the answers and may make mistakes but I will always work hard and do my best.

    The Northern Irishman, who has settled in Earlestown with his young family after winning the race to be the Labour candidate, added: “I feel as if I have put down roots here. I have a working class background so I have a good understanding about what people are going through. My son will go to school here so I care about what happens in our schools.”

    He said while he appreciates that both St Helens constituencies are seen as “safe Labour seats” he is “not going to insult anyone’s intelligence” by assuming his victory is assured.

    He added: “You have an opportunity to say this is what I think and what I believe. It’s about choice. About what sort of town you want your kids to grow up in.

    “I want there to be as much opportunity for a kid in Parr as in David Cameron’s constituency.”


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