MP Conor vows to keep fighting for Helen’s Law

St Helens North MP Conor McGinn
St Helens North MP Conor McGinn

A campaigning MP says he is “disappointed” Helen’s Law - named in memory of a Billinge murder victim - was not included in the Queen’s speech.

Conor McGinn, Labour’s MP for St Helens North, has been at the forefront of a bid to change the law for convicted murderers to mean they cannot be released from prison unless they reveal where their victims are buried.

The campaign was launched by Marie McCourt, mother of Helen, who was killed by pub landlord Ian Simms in 1988.

Mr McGinn says the campaign attracted huge support across the country and tweeted that he was felt deflated but determined to press ahead.

He added: “Disappointed #HelensLaw not included in Queen’s Speech. Huge support for our campaign in Parliament and the country.

“I will now bring forward #HelensLaw again in this Parliament & ask Ministers and all MPs to support our Bill.”

Marie, from Billinge, is the mother of Helen McCourt, who was murdered aged 22 almost 30 years ago by pub landlord Ian Simms - who has never disclosed the whereabouts of her remains.

She and Mr McGinn have consistently pressed for a change in the law meaning convicted killers who refuse to disclose where their victims bodes are would remain behind bars.

Mr McGinn has previously written of his support for the campaign.

In a 2016 article for the Huffington Post, Mr McGinn wrote: “My constituent Marie McCourt has been forced to endure what she describes as the ‘special kind of torture’ of knowing she could die without ever discovering the whereabouts of her daughter.

“For almost three decades, Simms has tormented Marie McCourt, now 72, by refusing to reveal what happened to her daughter’s body. Despite this brutal act of callousness and lack of remorse, Simms could soon be released from jail.

“This is a horrible injustice. Killers who visit this kind of suffering on their victims’ families should not be released on parole.

“I will be introducing proposals for the new law in the autumn and Marie joined me at Westminster last week as we confirmed the date with the parliamentary authorities.”