• Conor supports local farmers and champions ‘shopping and eating local

     
    Conor McGinn MP, has called on the Government to do more to support local farms and local produce.
     
    Speaking in Parliament, Conor spoke on behalf of the many farms in his constituency which play an important role in the community.
     
    He also urged the government to do more to promote shopping and eating local.
     
    Commenting Conor said:
     
    “Local farms and shops like Foresters in my constituency are invaluable to our communities. They sell excellent local produce and are important part of the local economy.
     
    “The Government should be doing all it can to help promote local farms and encourage people to buy local.”
  • Conor calls for review of parole guidelines and secures Ministerial meeting for Marie McCourt


    Conor McGinn MP, has urged the Government to review parole guidelines for convicted murderers who do not reveal the location of their victim’s remains.

    McGinn spoke in Parliament on behalf of his constituent Marie McCourt, whose daughter Helen was murdered in Billinge in 1988.

    Helen’s killer was convicted and received a life sentence, but has repeatedly refused to reveal the location of Helen’s remains. He could now be released on parole, despite showing no remorse for his actions.

    Justice Minister Mike Penning, in response, agreed to meet with Marie McCourt and her family.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “I’m glad the Minister has agreed to meet with Marie and I hope that this will lead to a review of the guidelines.

    “The impact of a murder to the family and friends of the victim is devastating, even more so when the killer refuses to allow a dignified final resting place.

    “Those who are convicted of murder should not be considered for release if they do not provide information about the location of their victim’s remains, which compounds the loss and devastation of the victims’ families.”

     

  • Conor calls on government to address TTIP concerns to deliver the jobs, growth and fairer deal for consumers

    Conor McGinn MP has said that TTIP must be transparent, promote decent jobs, avoid a race to the bottom, and ensure that the NHS and workers rights are protected.

    Commenting on TTIP Conor said:

    “Much has been debated in recent months on TTIP, and it is both welcome and vital that this deal is receiving proper scrutiny from trade unions, civil society and business.

    “I have heard from a number of constituents about their concerns on TTIP, for example that it could include insufficient exemptions for the NHS and other public services; that it could lead to serious legal challenges; and that the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) could result in transferring power away from people. These are all reasons why pushing for more transparency and accountability is vital.

    “We also need to recognise potential benefits that a deal on trade could provide for Britain’s workers and industries. Britain is a trading nation and balanced trade deals have a positive impact on jobs and growth. It is therefore crucial then that any benefits which an EU-US trade deal delivers filters down to employees, small businesses and consumers, that the deal is open and accountable, and that it does not dilute current labour, consumer, environmental and food safety standards.

    “Trade deals also provide unique opportunities to properly regulate global trade. This means we need careful and reflective thinking because in a rapidly changing global economy we are increasingly trading with countries, for example China, whose labour laws do not match our high standards. A balanced TTIP, one that promotes, rather than weakens social, labour and environmental standards, regulating a quarter of all global trade, could provide a welcome departure from a race to the bottom.

    “The proposals should receive proper scrutiny at both a UK and EU level and that any final deal must have transparency and accountability at its heart. I was disappointed that the Coalition Government paid such little attention to these concerns and I believe it is important the current Government ensure they are covered in the negotiating process.

    “I fought the General Election on a Labour manifesto that recognised the potential benefits of TTIP, but emphasised that any final agreement needs to ensure that the NHS is protected, promotes decent jobs and avoids a race to the bottom. Labour MEPs have also made the case in the European Parliament to exclude public services – including our NHS – from TTIP negotiations and to ensure workers’ rights, environmental standards and food safety standards are protected. A number of worries similar to our own have been raised by other EU member states and these will need to be reflected to secure agreement and therefore will have to be taken on board by the European Commission.

    “I hope that the Government now listen and respond to these concerns. I can assure you that I will follow this issue very closely and press the Government to ensure that TTIP delivers the jobs, growth and fairer deal for consumers we all want to see.”

     

     

     

  • My statement on the extension of British airstrikes against ISIL to Syria

    I have taken the difficult decision to vote to support the extension of British airstrikes against ISIL to Syria.

    I know that many people hold strong views on this and I fully understand that there will be many people who disagree with me. I completely respect their view, and despite reaching a different conclusion I know they have also made their decision in a principled way.

    I asked my constituents in St Helens North, including Labour Party members and supporters, for their views and listened carefully to what they said.

    I listened intently to the debate in Parliament today and have spoken with colleagues including the Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn, the Shadow Defence Secretary Maria Eagle and our Deputy Leader Tom Watson.

    I also received a private briefing at the Ministry of Defence from the Secretary of State for Defence and defence personnel. It was a sobering assessment of the direct threat Britain faces from ISIL terrorism and a detailed explanation of the current situation in Syria.

    On the basis of what I have heard, learned and discussed I believe the right thing to do – on balance and however difficult – is to support the extension of airstrikes against ISIL to Syria.

    In the coming days, I will be writing to all those to constituents who contacted me to fully set out my position.

    Conor McGinn MP

  • Conor responds to Autumn Statement

    Labour’s St Helens North MP Conor McGinn, responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in Parliament today, said:

    “George Osborne’s u-turn on cuts to policing is welcome. But let’s not forget that the Merseyside force has already been subjected to huge reductions in funding under this Tory Government.

    “Likewise, the decision not to cut tax credits will provide some short-term relief to working families in St Helens who have seen costs rising and wages falling, but in 2018 all families will still suffer the full cuts under Universal Credits.

    “At first glance this Autumn Statement includes even further cuts to local government funding alongside a plan to place the burden for paying for social care on to local authorities. I have huge concerns about the impact this will have in place like St Helens.

    “Other than that, all we have seen today is more smoke and mirrors on growth forecasts, tax receipts and the deficit from George Osborne who seems to either get the sums wrong or change the question mid-exam, or in most cases simply make it up as he goes along.”

  • Conor challenges Prime Minister on Army numbers

     

    Conor McGinn MP challenged the Prime Minister on army numbers following the Government’s statement on the Security and Strategic Defence Review (SDSR).

    Speaking in Parliament, Conor directly questioned the Prime Minister’s commitment to increasing the number of deployable armed forces by 20,000 by 2025 given simultaneous plans to cut the Regular Army by 20,000 by 2020.

     Commenting McGinn said:

     “The Defence of the UK and its people is the first duty of any Government, and in a dangerous world the threats we face are complicated and challenging.

     “The Government’s promise to increase the number of deployable armed forces personnel by 20,000 over the next ten years whilst reducing the regular army by 20,000 over the next five years seem inconsistent. It is vital that a reduction in Army numbers does not affect the capability of our Armed Forces to deal with the modern challenges they face.

     “The SDSR should set out a comprehensive, joined-up vision for how the UK meets, prevents and mitigates the threats our country currently faces, and will face.

     “A lack of strategic long-term thinking in the last Parliament saw David Cameron waste millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on time-wasting reviews, botched procurement decisions and a flawed reconfiguration of the Armed Forces .

     “Whilst there are some welcome measures in the SDSR, the Government will need to show that its deeds match its words, and the British public will be watching closely.”

     

  • Conor raises concerns about impact of Brexit on British-Irish relations

    Conor McGinn MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain, has highlighted concerns about the potential impact the UK leaving the EU could have on British-Irish relations.

    McGinn’s intervention in Parliament followed the issue being raised by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD at a meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street.

     Commenting McGinn said:

     “The Government must adequately address the concerns that have been raised and assure the Irish and British peoples that the key relationship between our two countries remains paramount.

     “Ireland is one of Britain’s most important partners, and a UK exit from the EU would have a detrimental impact upon both countries, not least in terms of trade and of course in relation to Northern Ireland. It would also be felt by many Irish people in Britain who very much value our common membership of the EU.

     “I urge David Cameron to ensure British-Irish relations remain strong and continue to develop within the EU.”

     

  • Conor says Tory cuts will leave local force unable to meet policing needs across Merseyside

     

    Conor McGinn MP, today spoke in a Labour-led debate in Parliament aimed at halting government plans to cut police budgets by up to 25%, and backed a campaign launched by Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham to keep bobbies on the beat and protect communities.

    Labour has warned that while efficiency savings below 10 per cent can be achieved, any cuts in double figures will lead hundreds more local police officers to be axed.

    Conor warned of the implications further cuts would have upon the ability of Merseyside police force to deal with diverse challenges faced across the region.

    As part of the campaign Labour have also given support to a national petition sponsored by the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, crossbench peer Lord John Stevens. The petition calls on Ministers to “drop plans for drastic cuts” and warns of the “end of neighbourhood policing”.

    The Merseyside force lost 722 police officers and 115 Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs) between 2010 and 2015, yet violent crime has risen 48% in the region.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “If Ministers cut the Police on the scale proposed, they will be putting public safety at risk and will go down as the Government that took thousands of bobbies off the beat.

    “Merseyside Police has suffered unprecedented cuts under this Tory Government which has had a real impact on the frontline.

    “With forces already stretched, new figures released that show Merseyside could lose a further 700 police officers if budgets are cut by 25%, are seriously worrying. This would have damaging consequences for policing and public safety in St Helens and across Merseyside.

    “I urge as many people as possible to sign Lord Stevens’s petition – we cannot afford to lose even more officers.”

    Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said

    “If people had known the Tories planned to end neighbourhood policing as we have known it and to take bobbies off the beat, they wouldn’t have voted for it. With crime starting to rise, now is not the time to cut the police.”

    On his petition, Lord John Stevens, said:

    “We call on the Government to listen to the public and police officers, drop plans for drastic cuts and protect visible, locally-responsive neighbourhood policing.

    “In the last five years, police forces across England and Wales have lost 12,000 front-line officers. Government plans to cut the Police by between 25% and 40% over the next five years could lead to the loss of over 20,000 more. Indeed, any budget cuts in double figures would spell the end of neighbourhood policing and put the public at risk.”

    Lord John Stevens was Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for five years. The petition can be signed here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/111560

     

  • Conor exposes Govt betrayal of 100,000 pensioners

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, has exposed government’s betrayal of over 100,000 pensioners after delays to implement social care reforms.

    The Government pledged to introduce a cap of £72,000 on the amount people have to pay towards their care in old age by April 2016, however, this has now been delayed until 2020.

    A parliamentary question tabled by McGinn, led the government to reveal that the delay means that 23,000 pensioner’s will miss out immediately. A further 80,000 will also no longer receive state support over the next decade.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “It is shambolic that as a result of this government’s failure over 100,000 pensioners will lose out. To delay the implementation of the cap until 2020 is simply unacceptable.

    “Many older people in my constituency and across the UK struggle with the spiralling cost of social care, and the cap promised by the government would have helped mitigate these costs.

    “The government should be doing all it can to ensure older people have the support they need to pay for social care now, not in 5 years’ time.

    “This is clearly another broken promise from a Tory government failing to deliver.”

    Further coverage of this story and the parliamentary question in full can below.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3299637/100-000-pensioners-lose-care-fees-betrayal-Ministers-admit-time-people-affected-decision-delay-introducing-cap.html

    Parliamentary question

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of the delay in reform of social care funding until 2020 on the provision of social care; and how many people will be affected by that delay in (a) St Helens North constituency, (b) the North West and (c) the UK. (11088)

    Answer:

    Alistair Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care: We remain committed to the implementation of the cap on care costs, which will offer financial protection and peace of mind. The decision to delay followed careful consideration of feedback from stakeholders that April 2016 was not the right time to implement these significant and expensive reforms. The benefits of the cap have had to be weighed against the need to focus on supporting the system that supports the most vulnerable.

    In reaching the difficult decision to delay we considered the impact on those who would have entered the cap system from April next year. Though they will not benefit from the additional help straightaway, many will still benefit from the cap system when it is introduced in 2020. The delay will allow local authorities time to focus on consolidating the important reforms to care and support introduced on 1 April 2015, laying the groundwork to implement the funding reforms as successfully as possible in 2020.

    Based on the most recent impact assessment, had the cap system been implemented in April 2016, around 23,000 older people in England would have benefitted immediately in 2016/17 and by 2025/26 up to 80,000 additional older people would have received state support.

    Information regarding how many people will be affected by the delay in specific constituencies or regions is not held in the format requested. Means-tested financial support remains available for those who cannot afford to pay for care to meet their eligible needs.

     

  • Conor appears on Sunday Politics North West

    Sunday Politics 3

    Conor was on Sunday Politics North West this week talking about tax credits, broadband access and devolution to Merseyside. You can watch it below (from 34 minutes in).

    http://bbc.in/1MsYaN0

     

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