THE Labour Party must go “back to its roots” and reconnect with working class voters following a disastrous election night across the country, the newly-elected MP for St Helens North has said.

While Labour held both seats in St Helens, albeit with a reduced majority, nationally the party has suffered its worst result in recent memory.

Following the catastrophic defeat, which saw Labour lose a number of heartland seats to the Tories, Jeremy Corbyn announced he would not be leading the party into another general election.

Mr McGinn said anything he can do to play a part in rebuilding the party to ensure it makes it back into government to improve the lives of working people, he will do.

He said it is now up to Labour MPs like him and Marie Rimmer, who was re-elected to St Helens South and Whiston, to go back to Westminster and help the party “get its act together”.

Mr McGinn, who lives in Newton-le-Willows, said the party had not learnt from its past election defeats, and has paid a heavy price.

St Helens Star: Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens NorthConor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North

Mr McGinn said: “I think fundamentally, when you lose an election – and we’ve now lost four – your first duty as a politician should be, how, in keeping with my values as a democratic socialist, as a centre-left politician, how do I ensure we re-engage with people and their priorities, and their lives and what they want?

“And you don’t do that by pursuing a narrow, ideological cul-de-sac.

“The Labour Party needs to go back to its roots, which is about being in communities, listening to working people, standing up for the vulnerable but also rewarding those who work and contribute as well.

“And that’s what we need to get back to, fundamental principles about what the Labour Party is, reconnect and re-engage with communities.”

While St Helens did buck the national trend in backing its Labour MPs, it wasn’t all plain sailing as both candidates saw their sizeable majorities from the 2017 general election take a hit.

Mr McGinn’s majority was cut from 18,406 in 2017 to 12,209, while Ms Rimmer saw her majority from 2017 reduce from 24,343 to 19,122.

“I think we ran a positive, locally-focused campaign here, which meant that although our majority decreased our vote held very solidly,” Mr McGinn said.

“And of course, I respect, and I understand they felt they couldn’t vote for us because of issues of leadership, around antisemitism and of course around Brexit.

“And what I say to those people is what I said to those who chose not to vote for me last time.

“My job is to represent you. I am your MP as well and I will work hard to get your vote next time around.”

Mr McGinn has previously come under fire for his position on Brexit, having advocated a second referendum on the issue since January due to the ongoing deadlock in Parliament.

With Boris Johnson now commanding the biggest Tory majority since Margaret Thatcher, Mr McGinn said he will fight to protect the people of St Helens against the impacts of Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal.

“I’ve been very clear with people throughout about what my views on this has been,” he said.

“I respected the result of the referendum, I voted to trigger Article 50. There’s been deadlock in Parliament so the solution that I thought was to resolve that was to have a second referendum.

“But it’s clear the Tories have won an overwhelming majority tonight and they will force through their Brexit deal.

“My job will still be to try and mitigate that so that we have the best possible deal for St Helens that protects jobs, communities, families and workers here.”

Earlier in the evening a joint exit poll by ITV, Sky and the BBC suggested the Tories would win 368 seats, with Labour on 191.

St Helens Star: Prime Minister Boris Johnson now has the biggest Conservative majority since Margaret ThatcherPrime Minister Boris Johnson now has the biggest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher

As the party stared down the barrel of its worst performance at a general election since 1935, Mr McGinn said Labour would need to “take stock” about where it all went wrong.

He said: “I think what we need to learn from this result is we have to be credible not just in terms of what you’re against but credible in terms of the programme that you’re proposing to the country.

“People have to have faith in the ability of your party and its leadership to act in the best interests of the country.

“And I’m sure a result like this tonight, which appears to be one that’s pretty bad for us, will see those who have designed the campaign, led the campaign both practically, intellectually and in policy terms, take full responsibility for that.”