POSTERS branding Labour MPs ‘traitors’ have been removed from St Helens Linkway.

While not named directly, the posters are believed to have targeted former St Helens MPs Conor McGinn and Marie Rimmer for their views on Brexit.

As well as branding them traitors, the posters also call St Helens MPs “remoaners”.

Mr McGinn, who is currently campaigning to be re-elected to St Helens North, was made aware of the posters last month.

The posters were taken down before being reported to St Helens Council, but days later fresh ones were put in their place.  These have now been removed.

Mr McGinn, who is originally from Camlough in Northern Ireland, said it is not the first time in his political career he has been branded a traitor.

St Helens Star: St Helens North Labour candidate Conor McGinnSt Helens North Labour candidate Conor McGinn

“Since I was elected, because I’ve been a relatively high-profile figure, because of my background, because of the new changing dynamic of politics, I’ve been branded a traitor before by dissident republicans in Ireland who oppose the peace process,” Mr McGinn said.

“They think I have sold out on my background and become this doyen of the British establishment.

“That spikes around Remembrance when I join the community in paying respects to the people from St Helens who served in the Armed Forces and who lost their lives in two World Wars.

“So, I’ve had all this before from elements on the far-left, from dissent Republican elements in Northern Ireland.

“And now I get it from the far-right.”

Mr McGinn said he believes the current climate is worse than when Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered as she left her regular surgery in 2016.

The two had become close friends and Mr McGinn admitted that following her murder, he began to take more precautions.

St Helens Star: Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in 2016Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in 2016

Mr McGinn said: “I do take precautions around my own personal security and I feel supported here by the police as well.

“But it’s not something that preoccupies my daily thoughts, it’s just something sadly that you need to be aware of in a way that you didn’t need to be aware of before.

“And I think Jo’s murder, me having come in at the same time as her and her having been a good friend and us having families of similar ages, I think her murder – as well as causing you to reflect on a lot and evaluate a lot – has made me maybe just listen to my wife a bit more and take the precaution rather than think that you can be exempt from the rules and all politicians are.

“Because we’re not.”

Mr McGinn believes the political discourse in the UK has been “toxified” by elements on the far-right and the hard left.

The former whip said he has received “vile abuse” on social media but claimed this does not reflect the conversations he has with residents in the real world.

St Helens Star: The posters were put up along St Helens LinkwayThe posters were put up along St Helens Linkway

Mr McGinn believes MPs themselves have to take some responsibility for the current climate, admitting that politicians and parliamentary politics have not “covered themselves in glory”.

“The way people speak to and about each other is certainly not in keeping with mainstream political tradition that I have always subscribed to,” Mr McGinn said.

“One that is the left, but that is respectful of those who don’t share my opinion.

“I worry about where that leads us to. I worry about my family, living in the community here given what some people have said on social media.

“But that is the important point, I meet some people who’ve given me most vile abuse on social media.

“Most of them are like little lambs. They’re not prepared to say it to your face. In some case they’re not prepared to put their name to it.

“But I think when you have a Prime Minister who dismisses women MPs who have talked about the terrible, misogynistic abuse they’ve had.

“When you dismiss some of the Islamophobic and antisemitic abuse that MPs across the House of Commons have had in a way that hasn’t been done.

“I think it’s a terrible example to set to people.”

St Helens Star: Labour's St Helens South and Whiston candidate Marie Rimmer was also targeted by the postersLabour's St Helens South and Whiston candidate Marie Rimmer was also targeted by the posters

Mr McGinn said, while many people disagree with him, generally members of the public are respectful and acknowledge the difficulty of being an MP at this time.

The Labour candidate also acknowledges that being an MP automatically makes you a target.

Mr McGinn said: “I know the rules, when you go into public life and you stand for elected office, you’re there for a target for people to criticise and scrutinise and all of what should come with our democracy.

“It’s just when it crosses the line into abuse and into threats and into intimidation – and that’s what part of that is about.

“But I’m tough enough to come through it even if it isn’t always pleasant.”