Who are St Helens two new MPs?

St Helens winners Marie Rimmer and Conor McGinn
St Helens winners Marie Rimmer and Conor McGinn
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  • New St Helens South MP Marie Rimmer says ‘encouraging more manufacturing jobs’ is a top priority
  • Labour sources ‘unfazed’ by her forthcoming assault trial
  • St Helens North’s Conor McGinn pledges to be ‘rooted’ in the community

St Helens has two new MPs but how will they work for the town and what are the issues they want to focus on?

Ms Rimmer, the first female MP to represent St Helens, increased Labour’s majority by over 4,000 in St Helens South.

People have a right to expect their MP will be rooted in the community they serve and that’s what they can expect from me

Conor McGinn MP

She secured 28,950 votes on a night when voter turnout increased to 62.5 per cent, one of the highest in recent times.

Ms Rimmer replaces Shaun Woodward, who stood down as MP after representing the borough since 2001, and while a relative newcomer to Westminster she has countless years experience in town hall politics, having served as council leader in St Helens for over a decade.

After securing an increased majority for Labour on an otherwise dismal night for the party, Ms Rimmer thanked voters for placing their trust in her.

“I will work hard for the people of St Helens and am going to focus on the things that matter to them,” she said.

“We need to do more to get more manufacturing jobs, proper jobs that pay people a proper wage.”

She dismissed accolades she received as the town first female MP as “not relative”, adding: “I just don’t see it is an issue anymore; I became the council’s leader a long time ago when women in senior political positions were rarer so I don’t dwell on it now.”

Ms Rimmer’s next test will come in August when she faces an assault trial over a scuffle allegedly involved herself and a pro Scottish independence campaigner.

A number of observers have questioned whether her position as an MP would be undermined if she is found guilty, although senior Labour sources have told the St Helens Reporter they are “very confident” she will be acquitted.

Mr McGinn, meanwhile, also increased his party’s majority by just over 3,000.

He stood as Labour’s candidate after his long-serving predecessor Dave Watts’ retired.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Mr McGinn has previously worked as a special advisor to former shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker.

Shortly after winning the nomination to become Labour’s candidate for St Helens North, Mr McGinn moved with his young family to St Helens.

He said: “People have a right to expect their MP will be rooted in the community they serve and that’s what they can expect from me.”

Meanwhile, George Howarth was elected as Knowsley MP with a 34,000 majority. Standing in one of the safest Labour seats in the country, which includes Prescot and parts of Whiston, Mr Howarth received almost 40,000 votes.