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Armagh-born MP Conor McGinn to run for Labour deputy leadership - reports

Conor McGinn MP. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Conor McGinn MP. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

A Northern Ireland-born Labour MP is planning on running for the party's deputy leadership, it has been reported.

Conor McGinn, who was born in Armagh and first elected to the Commons in 2015, is vying to fill the position currently held by Labour stalwart Tom Watson, who announced his resignation on Wednesday night, according to the New Statesman.

Prior to becoming an MP, Mr McGinn was a special advisor to Labour's former shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Vernon Coaker, in 2011.

He served as a whip on the front benches for a year before resigning in October 2016 over the removal of shadow chief whip Rosie Winterton in Jeremy Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr McGinn was instrumental in the introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, having successfully amended Northern Ireland devolution legislation in July to pave the way for its legalisation.

After the amendment passed the Commons, Mr McGinn said: "Having been let down so many times before, LGBT people in Northern Ireland can now look forward to enjoying the same rights as everyone else in the rest of the UK and on the island of Ireland."

In 2016, the St Helens North representative was involved in a Twitter spat with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who he claimed "intended to ring my father", a former Sinn Fein councillor, over an interview given by Mr McGinn.

Under new Labour rules, candidates wishing to stand for the deputy leadership of the party require the support of 10% of MPs or 5% of constituency parties or trade unions.

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