NEXT up in our series of '21 Questions' general election pieces is Labour's Conor McGinn.

Mr McGinn was first elected to represent the people of St Helens North in 2015, and is now looking to get elected for the third time.

Find out what he had to say.


I went to St Paul’s Catholic Comprehensive School just outside Newry, in Northern Ireland and I then went university and dropped out after two years. I went back as a mature student and got a first-class degree.


I worked in the charity sector for a long time in public health and then mental health. I ran an organisation that worked with prisoners and families. I visited 50 prisons across England and then before I went into politics I ran a small public affairs and public relations business.

First car you bought?

A Vauxhall Astra.

Where did you last go on holiday?

We went to Tenerife in the Summer for a week with the kids and I try to go to Ireland every year to see the family.

What was the last thing you ate?

This is going to sound terrible. I had the leftover Chinese for my lunch from two nights ago.

When was the last time you cried?

I was at Terry O’Neill’s funeral on Friday. He was the leader of Warrington Council. I didn’t cry but it was upsetting to see a man that was so hugely respected being taken away so suddenly from everyone.

And with two kids, watching the Lion King and other Disney films, it’s hard not to occasionally get emotional.

Favourite St Helens restaurant?

We like Amans on Newton high street, which we go to quite a bit when we’re out. When we’re in St Helens itself we like Anatolia Grill on Duke Street, which is quite good as well. But there are lots and lots around. Sunday lunch at the Junction in Rainford is absolutely top class.

Favourite St Helens pub?

I really like The Cricketers Arms and I really like the Sportsmans (The Talbot) as well on Duke Street. And if I’m going to watch Celtic I go Punch Tarmey’s.

What would be your last meal?

I’m a bit of a traditionalist. I’d probably have to go steak and chips.

Where do you do your food shopping?

Aldi in Wargrave. Occasionally we nip to Asda in St Helens. We’ve just started getting our milk delivered, which has made quite a big difference. It’s a firm between Newton and Warrington. It’s glass bottles again, which I haven’t had since I was a kid. It’s hard to beat that.

Favourite Saints player?

I think James Roby is just inspirational, I really do. I think some of the young lads have come on incredibly well as well. Tommy Makinson is excellent too but James is such a brilliant ambassador for the town and for the whole borough as well. It’s hard to look past him.

Favourite movie?

I really like The Departed and I watched it again over the last couple of weeks. And with kids too, you get to relive or revisit a lot of films you watched when you were young. I really like The Jungle Book, although I did last year revisit the Lion King and our daughter’s is Sleeping Beauty, so we tend to alternate between the two. I’m looking forward to The Irishman of Netflix as well. I know it’s really stereotypical of me being a former whip and all that, but I like The Godfather series and I like The Departed as well.

Favourite TV series?

The Wire I think. The Sopranos is up there as well. I really haven’t found any that has hit the heights of that. We’re watching The Crown at the minute, which I’m sure everybody else is as well. I used to watch Coronation Street and EastEnders a bit but when it went four or five times a week or whatever it is now, it’s just too hard to keep up with. So, like a lot of people now you don’t watch it when it’s on at the time, you do it on your Netflix or Prime or whatever it is.

Favourite book?

That is a hard one because I do have a voracious appetite for reading, not as much as I used to. The one I’m reading at the minute is A Gentleman in Moscow, which is a New York Times best seller, which is a fictional book. I really like Walter Macken’s trilogy. They’re probably my three favourite books. I do try to read, and I don’t get to read as often as want. I tend to read biographies or political books, which is an occupational hazard.

Favourite actor?

I know he’s a Tory and a pretty outspoken one but probably Michael Caine. I love Zulu, I love The Italian Job. I loved him in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I love Steve Martin as well. I really like Rebecca Hall too, who I think a brilliant young English actor. She’s probably not that young anymore, but I think she’s done some great things as well.

What’s music are you listening to right now?

It’s a collectic. I love music, it’s a big part of what I’ve done in Parliament. Linda Maloney insisted I listened to Classic FM during the course of the election to keep me sane. There’s a really good artist called John Smith who’s not that well known and you should check out. I listened to Keane’s new album over the weekend, which wasn’t great. I’m a bit of a Rod Stewart aficionado. We’re due to go and see him on the 10th December in the M&S Arena.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

The temptation is to go for some good looking, Brad Pitt or someone of that ilk. Timothy Spall in his prime probably wouldn’t do a bad job. He might be knocking on a bit now. Of course, Liam Neeson if he could modify that rarefied American mid-Atlantic accent, he might not do a bad job either!

Any tattoos?

I have one tattoo. I got it too impress a girl when I was about 16 or 17. She was visiting from America, so I had one on my arm. It’s a pretty non-descript, just a star and whatever else.

Best gift you’ve ever received?

The kids, you have to say, which weren’t bought but they are a fantastic gift. Probably the first football I was ever bought. I love sport, I’m absolutely mad about it, so it’s stayed with me ever since. It’s always a memory you have of kicking a ball around with your dad. That and your first bike I think are two things you always remember.

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

In a work sense it would be to sort out the mess we’re in. In a personal sense it would the ability to travel in time so I would be able to get from London and home every night of the week and maybe to occasionally get a lie in, which is not something we get very often now.

What’s the best piece advice you’ve received?

My mother always said let your yes be yes and your no be no, which I always thought was a good piece of advice. Sometimes you do have to equivocate in this job because things are complicated. But if you’re fundamentally up front with people about whether you agree or disagree with something, I think it stands you in good stead. Frank Dobson, the Labour MP who just died recently in the last couple of weeks. Frank, when I was first elected as an MP, said you’re going to get invited to lots and lots of things that will be three, four, five weeks down the line. He said the question you always ask yourself is, if it was tomorrow night, would I attend? And that’s been a good bit of advice as well.