• Conor: Prime Minister’s apology means little without action for victims of contaminated blood scandal

    Conor has said that the Government must show those affected by the contaminated blood that it means what it says, and match the Prime Minister’s apology with action to support it.

    Conor was speaking on behalf of his constituent Sandra Molyneux whose husband tragically died as a consequence of receiving contaminated blood.

    He noted that the Prime Minister had told victims of the scandal that the Government were sorry but the subsequent actions had not demonstrated that they were.

    Sandra Molyneux

    Conor’s comments were met with applause from the many victims and victims family members sitting in the public gallery.

    From the 1970s through to the early-1990s, thousands of people underwent treatment with NHS-supplied blood products. Many of these products are now known to have been contaminated with HIV and/or Hepatitis C. Thousands were affected and many have sadly passed away, and their families and survivors have campaigned for years for justice and to receive compensation.

    Despite previous commitments to give the survivors and families a resolution to the scandal the Government has again delayed matters by setting up a further consultation on the compensation package, which could see some of those who were affected lose thousands of pounds.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “It’s impossible to underestimate the scale of this scandal and the pain it has caused to many families including my constituent Mrs Molyneux.

    “For too long the Government have failed to address the concerns over the administration of the compensation scheme. It is high-time that the Government didn’t just tell victims of the scandal they were sorry, but showed they were.

    “Alongside my colleague Diane Johnson, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, I will continue to support the victims of this scandal and will work to ensure they receive just compensation.”

    Conor’s intervention also featured on BBC Radio 4’s Today in Parliament and the clipping can be found below.

    BBC radio 4

  • Conor appointed as an Ambassador for the Lewy Body Society

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    Conor has given his support to a charity battling to get recognition for a debilitating ilness affecting over 100,000 people in Britain.

    Conor is to become an Ambassador for the Lewy Body Society after meeting with the organisation’s Chief Executive, Jacqueline Cannon.

    Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), also known as Lewy body disease, is the second most frequent cause of age-related neurodegenerative dementia. At least 5 percent of people aged 85 and older are thought to suffer from this little known but not uncommon and devastating disease. .

    There are presently over 700,000 people with dementia in the UK and this number is projected to rise to 1,000,000 by 2021 unless cures are found. There are currently about five million people with dementia in the European Union. These figures represent only patients; caregivers double or treble the number of people whose lives are directly affected by dementia and relations and friends increase these numbers further.

    DLB shares mental symptoms, such as confusion and loss of memory, with Alzheimer’s disease and motor symptoms, such as gait and slow movement, with Parkinson’s disease. For that reason it is often misdiagnosed. Accurate diagnosis is essential for successful treatment of the disease: people with DLB are characteristically highly sensitive to certain drugs which can worsen unpleasant symptoms or even be fatal.

    The Lewy Body Society was set up in 2006 to support research into DLB, raise awareness and educate the public and those in the medical profession about all aspects of the disease. The charity will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on the in June this year.

    Conor said: “I am delighted to have been asked to be an Ambassador for the Lewy Body Society and to help support the valuable work that it does. Jacqueline and the team have my full support in trying to raise awareness of this awful illness that affects so many people. I will be campaigning alongside them to get a commitment from the Department of Health to ensure that recognition for DLB is an integral part of strategies to tackle dementia.”

    Jacqueline Cannon, Chief Executive of the Lewy Body Society, said: “The Lewy Body Society is delighted and honoured to appoint Conor McGinn MP as our Ambassador. With a background in public health and a commitment to health and older people’s issues, we think he will be a great asset to our campaign. I’d like to thank him for his support and encouragement.”

    For more information visit www.lewybody.org

  • Conor’s article on 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising

    In this week that marks the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, I was reminded of the old cliché about Anglo-Irish relations; that what the English can never remember, the Irish can never forget.

    The Easters of my childhood in a staunchly Catholic and nationalist community were duly informed by the unchallengeable facts that, as Eamonn McCann wrote, “Jesus Christ died for the human race and Padraig Pearse for the Irish section of it”.

    On a sunny Dublin morning, as I took my seat alongside other guests for the State Commemoration of the Easter Rising, I remembered those simplicities of my own youthful mind and older ones around me then. During dark days of violence and war, orthodoxies aren’t questioned, history seems an imperative and enemies are clearly defined.  Conflict might be hard on the heart, but in some ways, in the heat of battle at least, it can be easy on the head.

    On Sunday, as I watched the UK Ambassador to Ireland Dominic Chilcott take his seat, I thought to myself that making peace and reconciliation is the complicated thing. I thought the same when I watched the Irish Ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day last year. Leading by example and showing you mean what you say can be hard on the body, mind and soul. The tortuous and circuitous negotiations over the last 20 years in Northern Ireland are testament to that. In those lie the transformation of British-Irish relations, a nexus forged through trying to resolve the unresolvable and a desire to move beyond a seemingly impassable barrier. That tests and strengthens a relationship and gives it even greater depth.

    In 1916, the Proclamation of the Irish Republic vowed to cherish all children of the nation equally. In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement enshrined the right of everyone in Northern Ireland to be Irish or British, or both. A lot happened before, in between, and is continuing thereafter. There are still competing visions for Ireland’s future, North and South, that sit alongside uncomfortable and ongoing disputes about its past.

    But those two simple statements validating and recognising the identity and citizenship of everyone on the island of Ireland point to a better future, wherever it might lead. They should be the self-evident truths upon which we continue to build and work together as countries and peoples, equals and friends.

    I think the last week, indeed the last number of years, have made that old cliché about Anglo-Irish relations redundant. Far better the words of The Queen who said when she visited Ireland in 2012 that “with the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.” That’s not about anyone forgetting or remembering too much or too little, it’s about all of us ensuring that the next chapter of British-Irish relations start with our commitment never do those same things again.

    This article originally appeared in Politics Home on 30th March 2016.

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/politics/opinion/house-commons/73298/conor-mcginn-mp-time-learn-lessons-history

  • Conor says £3.8m of EU investment show St Helens North is Stronger In

    Analysis published by the Stronger In campaign today shows projects across St Helens North benefit from £3.8m of EU investment each year.

    A vote to leave the European Union would mean that St Helens North would lose access to the funds that support its communities.

    These statistics highlight the significant benefits of Britain’s membership of the EU in almost every area of the country.

    During the 2007-2013 European Structural Funds programme, the North West received £990 million and will receive £910 million under the 2014-2020 programme which has been allocated to Local Enterprise Partnerships who will help decide how the money is spent locally.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “This analysis by the Stronger In campaign shows just how important remaining in the EU is for people in St Helens North and across the North West.

    “St Helens North benefits through receiving EU funding, which supports regional development, provides investment in businesses, creates job opportunities, improves prospects for young people through apprenticeships and higher education, and supports agriculture.

    “Northern Trust and Morley Estates have received over £1.2 million and £2.5 million respectively for important projects run in the constituency.

    “For people in St Helens North and across the UK, being in Europe supports jobs and lower prices here at home, makes it easier to keep our streets safe and gives our country a stronger leadership role on the global stage.

    “Going out on our own is a risk we simply can’t afford to take. The European Union isn’t perfect. No partnership is. But the benefits outweigh the costs and this deal makes Britain even stronger in Europe than we would be out of it.”

  • Conor: a failing Budget from a failing Chancellor

    Conor responding to the Budget delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer today said:

    “The Chancellor talks a good game but in reality, this was a budget of failure.  

    “The OBR has revised down its growth predictions and the Chancellor has failed to meet his own fiscal targets. The economy is smaller than predicted and there is now a £18 billion black hole.

    “Whilst I welcome the announcement of HS3 and further infrastructure investment in the North, these have to be delivered and the Chancellors record previously has been one of failure. That over 97% of staff employed to deliver the so-called ‘northern powerhouse’ are based in London is an absolute shambles.

    “It seems the Chancellor is primarily concerned with posturing for Tory leadership, and is making working families pay for his own economic failings rather than helping them.   

    “Mates’ rates on taxes for multinationals -while local authorities suffer 79% cuts, child poverty set to rise every year, 2.1 million working families £1,600 a year worse after cuts to Universal Credit and 200,000 disabled people set to lose £3000 a year; the Chancellor is making working people and the most vulnerable pay for his own economic failings.

    “This was more of the same from an out of touch Chancellor and will do little to help people in St Helens North and across the North West.”

     

     

     

  • Conor says focus should be on effects of poverty not blaming families

    Conor McGinn MP has criticised the Government for increasing levels of poverty and its impact on family stability.

    After a Tory MP asked the Work and Pensions Secretary how family stability affected poverty levels, McGinn turned the question around to ask the Government to explain how increasing levels of poverty under his government are affecting family stability.

    Over the last parliament, average real wages fell by over a thousand pound a year and cuts to Universal Credit that begin in April will see 2.1 million working families £1,600 a year worse off by 2020.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “In my constituency child poverty levels are almost 5% above the national average and recent statistics show that the number of children living in poverty is not decreasing.

    “The government’s failure to make work pay and its cuts to in-work support risk increasing the number of working families in poverty even further.

    “Cuts to Universal Credit that will begin in April will make it almost impossible for families to work their way out of poverty.

    “It is high-time the Tories recognised that we should be working to address the root causes and ensure working families get the support they need, not putting families under increasing pressure.”

  • Conor calls for musicians and film-makers to enter Rock the House and Film the House

    Conor McGinn MP is supporting musicians and film-makers from St Helens North by calling for local artists to enter Parliament’s two largest creative competitions, Rock the House and Film the House.

    The competition, now in its fifth year, offers the opportunity to put local musicians and film-makers in direct contact with the movers and shakers of the two industries and is judged by the leading lights of industry, with prizes ranging from festival slots, studio time and top-notch equipment, the Rock the House and Film the House competitions are a pioneering opportunity to showcase what the constituency has to offer, raising awareness about the importance of Intellectual property (IP) to our creative industries and country.

    Dates for the 2016 competitions are:

    • 1st May, closing date for entries to MPs
    • 31st May, closing date for MPs to announce their constituency nominations
    • 20th June, final battle of the bands
    • 4th July, awards ceremony

    More information on how to apply for each competition can be found at:

    Conor McGinn MP said:

    “I welcome the return of Parliament’s most-hotly contested competitions, and would urge all local musicians and film-makers to enter Rock the House and Film the House. This is an excellent opportunity for us to celebrate our local talent and, as all nominations are judged by industry experts, there is no finer chance for our musicians and film-makers to gain exposure.”

    Rock legend and actor, Alice Cooper said:

    “Rock the House is a great project which celebrates the fantastic diversity of the British music scene and gives musicians a vehicle through which to hold their legislators accountable about protecting the music industry’s intellectual property.”

    For more information on how to enter Rock the House go to www.rockthehouseuk.com;

    and for Film the House www.filmthehouse.com.

  • Conor votes to ‘Keep Sunday Special’

    Conor today voted against new Sunday trading laws sneaked in by the Government under the Enterprise Bill.

    The new proposals will relax rules on Sunday trading and devolve new powers to authorities to take decisions on Sunday trading. The move may lead to retail workers having to work on Sundays instead of spending quality time with their families.

    Retailers comprise 10% of employment in constituencies across the UK and an independent survey of over 10,000 retail staff found that 80% of staff in large stores are working Saturdays and 74% already work on Sundays. 

    Before the General Election, the Prime Minister promised not to relax Sunday trading laws arguing that the “current system provides a reasonable balance between those who wish to see more opportunity to shop in large stores, and those who wish to see further diversity.”

    Commenting Conor said:

    “I oppose longer opening hours for big stores on Sunday.  I am convinced that shops are currently open long enough for people to do their shopping and that Sunday should remain a special day, different to any other.

    “The Sunday Trading Act is a great British compromise, which gives everyone a little bit of what they want. Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; whilst Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family.

    “It’s important that shopworkers are able to enjoy time with their families and the changes proposed by the Government threaten this and do not protect the rights of workers.

    “Changing the Sunday trading laws would be detrimental to shopworkers and their families, as well as wider society, and that is why I am voting against the changes and backing the Keep Sunday Special campaign.”

     

  • Conor and Linda Robson ‘get behind the daffodil’ for Marie Curie this March

    marie curie

    Conor  and actress and presenter Linda Robson have joined forces to ‘get behind the daffodil’ this March and help Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness.

    Conor and Linda were pictured together with Marie Curie Nurses, Leonie Christian and Elisabeth Goze, at a parliamentary event in Westminster to celebrate the launch of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign.

    Conor pledged his support to the appeal and is encouraging local people to help the charity raise more money than ever before by simply giving a donation and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil pin, available from volunteers across the country, or Superdrug and WHSmiths shops, and Wyevale garden centres, during March.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “I am proud to be backing such an important campaign and would like to pay tribute to the important work done by the nurses who provide invaluable care and support.

    “High quality palliative care services should be widely available and we should be giving as much support as we can to the Marie Curie Nurses.

    “I encourage people in my constituency to give a small donation and wear the Marie Curie daffodil pin to help raise as much money as possible.”

    Linda, who plays Tracey in the hit television show Birds of a Feather, and co-presents ITVs Loose Women, is a long-time supporter of Marie Curie, having experienced first-hand the vital work of the charity.  She said: “Our mum Rita was cared for by Marie Curie and we could never have coped without their constant support and care in her final months.  Our family still cannot put into words just how grateful we are.”

    “I’m delighted to be here with Conor to help launch the 30th anniversary of the Great Daffodil Appeal – and to thank personally Leonie and Elisabeth for their incredible care and support when we needed them the most.”

    Scott Sinclair, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie, said: “Having the support of Conor and Linda makes a huge difference to Marie Curie in terms of raising awareness about what we do and helping us to reach more people who need us.

    “We know that seven out of 10 carers say people with a terminal illness don’t get all the care and support they need. We don’t think that’s good enough. That’s why we are asking MPs to commit to ensuring that everyone has the right to palliative care when they need it and help support our annual fundraising appeal.”

    “Our services rely on charitable donations, so I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who gives a donation and wears a daffodil pin during March.”

    The money raised from the Great Daffodil Appeal will help Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones at home and in one of the charity’s nine hospices.”

    To coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie has also published a new report which shows that people living with blood or brain cancer – which together account for around 10% of all cancer deaths annually – are more likely to miss out on care and support focussed on providing relief from symptoms, pain and emotional stress. The report, backed by Bloodwise and the Brain Tumour Charity, argues that all people with cancer should have their palliative care needs assessed when they are first diagnosed.

    For more information about the Great Daffodil Appeal and to volunteer to collect for Marie Curie, please call 0845 601 3107* or visit mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil.  To donate £5 text *DAFF to 70111 or call 0800 716 146 and donate over the phone.

  • Conor welcomes mental health taskforce report and calls for swift implementation

    Conor McGinn MP has urged the Government to implement the recommendations of the mental health taskforce report.

    Speaking in Parliament, Conor welcomed the taskforce’s comprehensive report, and urged the Government implement all of the recommendations in full.

    The taskforce report, The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, was published earlier this month. The report puts forward recommendations to ensure mental health issues are treated on a par with physical health issues in the NHS.

    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.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “The way we treat people who have mental health problems needs to change, and I welcome the report’s recommendations that seek to ensure they are treated on a par with physical health.

    “People in my constituency and across the UK who suffer from mental health problems should have access to comprehensive treatment on the NHS and should not feel stigmatised.

    “That there has been an increase in the number of reported cases of mental health problems is of real concern, and the recommendations in the report need to be implemented sooner rather than later.”

     

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