• my article for The House magazine on the music industry

    I was delighted to lead a Parliamentary debate on the immense contribution of the UK’s music industry to both the economy and society.

    To find out more about music’s role in national and local life, the challenges faced by the industry, the work of UK Music, and why I proposed the debate, you can read my article for The House magazine:

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/economy/house/house-magazine/109151/conor-mcginn-mp-uk-music-industry-boosts-our-economy-and

  • viaduct violets

    Viaduct Violets Women’s Institute, based in Newton-le-Willows, have been taking part in the Green Hearts campaign to raise awareness of how individual actions can benefit the environment.

    I met with their President Linda Harrison, along with Vice President Jill Rigby, who told me about some of the measures we can all take to protect the planet, from car sharing to recycling more. They even gave me my own locally-made green heart, which I’ll proudly be wearing in Parliament.

  • SUPPORTING THE AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR

    The shocking decision of Jaguar Land Rover to cut up to 500 jobs at their factory in Halewood is a crushing blow for workers across our communities, for the manufacturing economy in Merseyside and for the North West’s automotive sector.
    Employees and their families here in St Helens will be devastated by this news which is why, alongside regional Labour colleagues, I’ve signed and supported Maria Eagle MP’s Early Day Motion (EDM) which implores the Government to urgently step in and ensure the viability of the car manufacturing industry in the North West.
    I’ll keep working closely with my Labour colleagues in Parliament, with Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram, union representatives and Labour councils to back our local workforce and urge the Government to get behind them.
    You can read the EDM, in full, here: https://edm.parliament.uk/…/job-losses-at-jaguar-land-rover…

  • CELEBRATING OUR MUSIC INDUSTRY

    I was delighted to lead a Parliamentary debate on the immense contribution of the UK’s music industry to both the economy and society.
    The British music industry is worth a staggering £5 billion to the national economy, employing nearly 200,000 people. It’s a story of success that contributes something of real value to every town and city across Britain.
    Merseyside, of course, is synonymous with world-leading British music, and I paid tribute to our region’s great variety of diverse performers, venues, festivals and local studios, each of which helps to fuel the kind of talent that makes UK music the envy of the world. It was also nice to be able to read about local artists, venues, organisations, bands and choirs in Hansard – the official House of Commons report.
    But big challenges remain, which is why Ministers must do more to acknowledge the life-changing impact music has on our communities, all the while helping those already working in the industry to flourish.

  • Tackling Knife Crime

    I fully support Our Merseyside’s new #BladeFree campaign and wider efforts by the police, schools and local communities in St Helens to tackle knife crime and keep our young people safe.
    Sadly, many in our region know only too well the untold levels of pain, distress and suffering the scourge of knife crime can inflict upon the friends and families of those drawn into it. By providing support and new opportunities through local activities, #BladeFree aims to throw vulnerable young people a real lifeline and help them steer well clear of this horrific violence.
    I commend local campaigners whose hard work made this excellent initiative a reality. Together, we can build a #BladeFree society where the devastation of knife crime is eradicated once and for all.

  • Northern rail

    at the start of the new year I was at Newton-le-Willows station,  talking to local commuters, alongside the Chair of Merseytravel, Liam Robinson, and local Labour councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron.
    Passengers across St Helens North in Newton, Rainford, Earlestown and Garswood are putting up with cancelled and delayed services every day, alongside increasing fares and overcrowding.
    I’m glad that the government has finally bowed to pressure by suggesting it will strip Northern of the franchise. Passengers, campaigners, our Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and MPs like me have been telling them for a long time just how bad a deal our constituents get from expensive and unreliable rail and bus services.
    But this is only the first step. Public transport needs investment and must be run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.

  • Helens Law – lets get this done

    The first letter I’ve sent on being re-elected as an MP is to the Secretary of State for Justice, to ask him to press the Government to include a Bill for Helen’s Law in the Queen’s Speech again this week.
    We came so close in the last Parliament. And Conservative, Labour & the Lib Dems all pledged their support during the election.
    Let’s get this done for Marie McCourt & all the other victims & families.

  • supporting the renegotiation of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme

    I support the renegotiation of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme’s agreement with the Government and am working with Parliamentary colleagues, the NUM and local campaigners in St Helens and the North West on this important issue.

    In 1994 a surplus sharing arrangement saw the Government guarantee the pension scheme – a vital step – but at an extraordinarily high price. Since 1994 the Government has received £4.1 billion from the scheme but has paid nothing.

    This must be renegotiated – a greater proportion of the funds should return to the hard-working former miners. The 50% share is disproportionate and denies former miners the deal they deserve.

    I signed an letter to the Chancellor calling on the Treasury to undertake a formal review into the surplus sharing agreement. Former mineworkers, their families, and our communities must receive their fair share for their decades of hard work.

  • Zimbabwean nationals being refused asylum in the UK

    I share the concerns of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, who have all reported abuses against protestors in Zimbabwe by security forces, including the use of live ammunition.

    The violence that followed the general strike on 14 January 2019 was utterly deplorable. I am further concerned by the Zimbabwean Government’s shutdown of internet services in the days that followed the violence. This action severely disrupted the flow of information and obscured the behaviour of the army and the police.

    In light of the troubling reports of oppression of activists in Zimbabwe, I believe it is important that the UK Government makes clear how it has deemed it safe to return asylum seekers to that country.

    I am concerned that people who may be at risk could be deported and that insufficient regard is being shown for potential human rights abuses. I am clear that deportations should not be happening in any serious case where human rights are under threat.

    More widely, regarding the situation in Zimbabwe, I believe that President Mnangagwa must act swiftly to restore the hope that existed last summer and put an end to attacks on civilians. We do not want history to repeat itself, nor do the Zimbabwean people.

     

  • My views on this week’s Brexit developments

    These are difficult and uncertain times for the country and our community. The Government’s shambolic handling of Brexit negotiations has been chaotic and confused, and caused concern for people right across Britain.

    My mailbag today reflects that and also demonstrates the diverse range of opinions in my St Helens North constituency. I get hundreds of emails and letters each week from people who want to revoke Article 50 altogether and stay in the EU, from people who want to leave with no-deal, from people who want to leave but remain in the customs union or the single market, from people who want Theresa May’s deal, from people whose views since the referendum have changed in both ways – but primarily from leave to remain – and increasingly from people who want the public to have the final say over any deal.

    When MPs are told “get on with it”, “leave means leave” or “just cancel Brexit”, it unfortunately isn’t that simple. Parliament is divided, but so is the country.

    In 2016, a majority of people in St Helens borough voted to leave the European Union. But for every six people who voted to leave, four voted to remain.

    In respecting the result of the referendum both locally and nationally, I voted to trigger Article 50 to enable Britain to leave the European Union. I was as clear then as I am now that any deal or process for leaving should prioritise workers, families, businesses and the community in St Helens borough. In addition, it must be in the national interest, ensuring that we get the best deal to protect jobs and our economy, hard-won workers’ rights, environmental and food standards, human rights, security and defence co-operation with our European partners, peace in Northern Ireland and most importantly our young people’s futures.

    But Theresa May’s deal does none of that. It would make people in St Helens borough poorer and I will never do anything to enable that. Worse still, leaving with no-deal would be an economic catastrophe that would be devastating for our community, and so my priority is to ensure we don’t crash out in this way.

    The Prime Minister has shown that she is unwilling to listen, so now Parliament has taken control. Tomorrow night, MPs will undertake a series of indicative votes stating their preferred options to try and find a way forward. I hope we can find a consensus. But I am increasingly of the view that whatever Parliament decides, or if it can’t agree, we may still need to go back to the people for a final say.

    Finally, it is my job to represent everyone in St Helens North. Not just leave voters, not just remain voters, not just those who voted for me or the Labour Party, but everyone. I will keep doing that as best I can over the coming critical days and weeks.

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