- 1. Early life
- 2. Political career
- 3. Personal life
Labour Party Deputy National Campaign Coordinator
Organization: Labour Party
Date of Birth: 31 July 1984
Age: 38 years old
Place of Birth: Newry, Northern Ireland
Conor Patrick McGinn (born 31 July 1984) is a British-Irish Labour politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for St Helens North since 2015. He has served as Labour's Deputy National Campaign Coordinator since 2021, and the Shadow Minister for Security since 2020.
McGinn was born in Camlough, near Newry, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and brought up in the nearby village of Bessbrook. The village was highly militarised during The Troubles. His mother was an NHS clerical officer, and his father was a Sinn Féin councillor.
McGinn went to St Paul's High School, Bessbrook. Before going to university, he worked for the African National Congress in South Africa on a fellowship for two months. He studied at Goldsmiths, University of London, but did not initially complete his degree, remaining in London working for a mental health charity for Irish immigrants, Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy, and later for the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas. He later completed his history, politics and Irish studies degree part-time at London Metropolitan University.
McGinn was chair of the Young Fabians from 2006 to 2007, and has been vice-chair of Young Labour. He stood to be a councillor on Islington London Borough Council in 2006 and 2010 without success. He has been on the executive of the Fabian Society and until 2012 was chair of the Labour Party Irish Society. In 2011 he represented the socialist societies on the Labour Party National Executive Committee.
He worked as a public affairs and government relations consultant, before becoming an advisor to shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Vernon Coaker in 2011, and continued to work for Coaker when he became shadow defence secretary.
Post election, he was appointed to the Defence Select Committee and as an Opposition Whip.
McGinn was briefly a communist in his youth, but is now regarded as being on the right of the Labour Party. He is listed as a Parliamentary supporter of both the Labour Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East. He made an visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories in 2014. He supports a two-state solution. In September 2020, McGinn was appointed a vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel. McGinn supported Andy Burnham's bid for the leadership of the Labour Party in 2015. McGinn nominated Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership election. McGinn has also been accused of making homophobic remarks, as he allegedly called another colleague a "poof" repeatedly during a coach journey on 15 March 2018.
In 2016, he was involved in a Twitter spat, which became a media story, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in which McGinn claimed that Corbyn "said that he intended to ring my father", a former Sinn Féin councillor. Corbyn's spokesman said the claim was "untrue". The Guardian later reported that McGinn was reporting what other whips had told him, possibly sourced from a Corbyn staff member, rather than directly from Corbyn.
Following the October 2016 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, and the replacement of Dame Rosie Winterton as Chief Whip, McGinn resigned as a whip.
In 2018 McGinn expressed his happiness with the result of the 2018 referendum that repealed the amendment Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland which banned abortion except in the case of the mother's life. McGinn than called for abortion liberalization be applied to Northern Ireland. For this stance he was criticized due to being a founder of Catholics for Labour, but supporting something the Church strongly opposes.
On 9 April 2020, McGinn was appointed as Shadow Minister of State for Security. In June 2021, he was appointed as Labour's deputy national campaign coordinator.
McGinn lives in Earlestown, Newton-le-Willows. He is a Roman Catholic. He married Kate Groucutt about 2009, and has a son and a daughter. McGinn holds both Irish and British citizenship.
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