• Take a Break Interview On Helen’s Law

    Conor has been interviewed by Take a Break Magazine about the campaign for Helen’s Law, and the need to get a no body, no parole rule onto the statute book.

    Constituent Marie McCourt’s daughter Helen was murdered nearly 30 years ago, and her killer Ian Simms could soon be released from prison – despite never revealing where Helen’s body is buried.

    Helen’s Law is needed to ensure that family members like Marie do not face the added trauma of seeing a victim’s killer walk free while the location of the body remains undisclosed.

    In addition to the thousands who have signed the petition calling for Helen’s Law, over 6,000 Take a Break readers have sent in “coupons” to support the campaign.

    It’s over a year since Conor introduced a Bill for Helen’s Law to the House of Commons and MPs from all Parties have since backed the rule change. It’s high time the Government acted and put Helen’s Law on the statute book.

  • Dame Lorna Muirhead

    I was delighted to table a parliamentary motion paying tribute to Dame Lorna Muirhead for her outstanding public service, after 12 years as the Lord Lieutenant in Merseyside.

    Dame Lorna came to Liverpool in 1965 and worked as a midwife for 40 years, spending most of the time at the Liverpool Maternity Hospital and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

    She was elected to the council of the Royal College of Midwives in 1994, becoming president of the organisation in 1997. She served for seven years as a National and International Ambassador for midwives.

    Dame Lorna’s dedication to helping others and her contribution to civic life makes her a fine role model.

    Along with Merseyside MP colleagues, I wish her a happy retirement and also send my best wishes to the new Lord Lieutenant Mark Blundell.

  • Inter Faith Week

    Inter Faith Week is a chance to show the good work that comes from positive relationships and working partnerships between people of different faiths and beliefs in St Helens and across the country.

    The annual Inter Faith Week, which is now in its ninth year, aims to strengthen the bonds and understanding between different faiths at all levels.

    Conor recently attended an interdenominational Remembrance Sunday service at St Aidan’s Billinge, to remember those from the Parish who died during both World Wars.

    It was heartening to see so many members of the community from different faiths coming together for a shared purpose.

    Earlier this year, Conor also attended the fifth annual ‘Meet Your Muslim Neighbour” at The World of Glass, to promote good inter-community relations and I met with the Jewish Leadership Council in the North West to support the local Jewish community in the fight against anti-Semitism.

    You can find out more about Inter Faith Week here: https://www.interfaithweek.org/

  • Next Weeks Budget

    Ahead of next week’s budget, the Chancellor must ensure that spending on mental health services is ring-fenced and this vital area is properly funded.

    The Government has announced £1.4 billion funding over five years to deliver the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health and £1.25 billion for the Future In Mind programme for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

    This money is important but will not go far enough to meet rising demands on mental health services, here In St Helens and across the country.

    According to Public Health England 16.8% of people in St Helens have reported suffering from depression and anxiety. In the UK one in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year.

    Conor has signed colleague Luciana Berger’s petition for the Government to use the budget as an opportunity to ring-fence mental health spending, you can sign here too https://you.38degrees.org.uk/…/ring-fence-mental-health-spe….

  • The Living Wage Foundation recommended that the living wage for areas outside London should be £8.75 per hour – which is a gross 40 hour weekly wage of £350.

    But many workers in St Helens are working full time for the minimum wage of £7.50 an hour – which leaves these workers £50 a week short of the Living Wage Foundation recommendation.

    That means less money in the bank at the end of the month, and less money for food, bills and transport.

    Conor is supporting St Helens Council in leading the way as a council committed to a Living Wage, but the Government needs to do far more to raise wages for workers in St Helens and across the country.

    That’s why a Labour Government would raise the Living Wage to £10 an hour, giving workers and families on lower pay the income security they need.

  • Armed Forces recruitment and retention crisis

    This week in the House of Commons Conor took part in a defence debate led by Labour’s frontbench.

    Conor raised the Armed Forces recruitment and retention crisis that has arisen on the Tories’ watch, and the fact that more service personnel are leaving and fewer joining both regular and reserve forces year-on-year.

    The Defence Minister said that Conor’s figures were inaccurate. The only problem with that was that they weren’t Conor’s figures, they were his from an official Ministry of Defence report.

    You can see the intervention below and read Conors entire contribution – in which I pay tribute to St Helens veterans’ champion Andy Reid – here https://hansard.parliament.uk/…/44334061-A7…/ArmedForcesPay…

  • Conor slams Tory cuts to Merseyside fire safety inspectors

    Conor McGinn has slammed Government cuts to the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service as new figures show the number of fire safety inspectors is down by a fifth since 2013.

    Fire safety inspectors are responsible for vital statutory safety inspections and audits, but cuts mean there are now just 34 inspectors across Merseyside – down from 42 in 2013.

    The 19 per cent reduction in fire safety inspectors puts extra pressure on the Fire and Rescue Service, with less firefighters available to carry out safety checks on hospitals, schools and shops.

    Mr McGinn is calling for the Government to immediately halt the decline in fire safety inspectors and is backing a campaign by the Fire Brigades Union to keep buildings safe, protecting the public and firefighters.

    Commenting, Conor said:

    “Our firefighters do an incredible job with dedication and professionalism, often under very difficult circumstances.

    “But Government cuts to fire safety inspectors puts more pressure on already overstretched services by making it harder to spot fire risks in public buildings.

    “The Government needs to urgently get to grips with this and halt the decline in fire safety inspectors, which are down by a fifth in Merseyside since 2013, and put public and firefighter’s safety first.”

     

  • Conor supports the Protect The Protectors campaign

    Our emergency services do an amazing job under the most difficult circumstances. But these staff often face abuse and assault, with the Police Federation for England and Wales figures showing there were more than two million physical assaults on officers in 2016, and a further three hundred thousand using a deadly weapon. The PFEW estimates that this means there is an attack on a police officer every four minutes.

    The Royal College of Nursing also highlighted a rise in assaults on NHS staff, with a survey of more than 6,000 staff showing 28 per cent had experienced physical abuse in the previous 12 months and seven in ten had experienced verbal abuse.

    Our firefighters also do an incredibly tough job under the most difficult of circumstances, and it’s important that offences against them are dealt with severely by the law.

    I was proud to sponsor Holly Lynch MP’s Bill to Protect the Protectors back in February and I am proud to continue supporting the Protect The Protectors campaign, calling for tougher sentences for those who assault emergency workers and improved support for staff.

  • The Government needs to review tolls on new Mersey crossing

    Mersey Gateway is a fantastic piece of engineering and will have a positive impact on travel times across the Mersey. But that cannot disguise the fact that a crossing that was free until now will impose tolls on drivers. That will mean serious financial consequences for St Helens drivers who need to make regular crossings, especially those commuting to and from work, local businesses and those with caring responsibilities.

    Earlier this year, the Tory Government announced free tolling would be extended beyond Halton residents. But it has reneged on this commitment. My colleague Justin Madders, the MP for Ellesmere Port, raised this directly with Transport Ministers. The Minister tried to claim that it would cost Councils huge amounts per year if there were no tolls. But major road projects should be funded by central government. And it’s worth noting that no other previously free crossings have had charges introduced in the last decade.

    I have also raised my concerns and will continue to fight alongside Merseyside Labour MPs to get the Government to review its charging policy so that residents in St Helens and elsewhere get a fair deal.

    You can help us by signing the petition below which is being organised by Maria Eagle MP.

  • Breast Cancer Care Campaign

    I sympathise profoundly with anyone who has been affected by cancer and I pay tribute to Breast Cancer Care for its work in supporting people living with secondary breast cancer, and their families, and in raising awareness of the connected issues. I am concerned by Breast Cancer Care’s recent report, Secondary: Not Second Rate, which found that people are experiencing delays in diagnosis of secondary breast cancer which can prevent timely access to vital treatment and care. Despite the huge progress that has been made on improving cancer services, we still lag behind other countries, and there is worrying evidence that the progress we have been making on cancer care has stalled, or potentially even gone backwards. It is concerning that the Government has missed the national cancer target – that 85% of patients should start treatment within 62 days of a GP referral – since January 2014. The target of 93% of patients with an urgent referral for breast symptoms to see a specialist within two weeks was also missed in each month between February and July this year. At the General Election I stood on a manifesto which pledged to invest an additional £30 billion in the NHS to give patients the modern, well-resourced services they need. The manifesto also pledged to deliver the Cancer Strategy for England in full by 2020, guarantee access to treatment within 18 weeks, and take one million people off NHS waiting lists by the end of the next parliament. I believe that improving cancer services and outcomes should be a key priority for the Government and that we should set an ambition for the NHS to have the best cancer survival rates in Europe. Key to this will be improving early diagnosis, public awareness and screening programmes, as well as ensuring that GPs have the training, resources and support they need to identify symptoms and refer patients quickly. I hope the Government gives careful consideration to the recommendations outlined by Breast Cancer Care and ensures that all patients with secondary breast cancer receive the best possible care and support.

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