NEW MP Conor McGinn has been elected as the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain.
The Labour MP for St Helens North takes over the role vacated by long-term group leader Chris Ruane, who lost his parliamentary seat in the recent general election.
“It is a great honour to take over as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain at an exciting time for the community and when the relationship between the UK and Ireland has never been stronger,” Mr McGinn said today.
The Armagh-native, a former chair of the Labour Party Irish Society, was elected to his Merseyside constituency with more than 26,000 votes on May 7.
He has known his APPG predecessor for many years and admits he takes on the role with a “tinge of sadness”.
“My appointment is, however, tinged with sadness in that I am taking over from Chris Ruane, the former MP for the Vale of Clwyd who lost his seat in the general election last month,” he explained. “Chris was a good friend and a true champion of the Irish in Britain and he will be sorely missed in Westminster.”
Regarding his plans for the role, he added: "It’s a special and unique privilege for me as an Irish-born MP representing an English constituency to lead the APPG as a proud member of the Irish community in Britain.
“I intend to continue the work that has been done to reach out to every part of our community. I want the APPG to be at the forefront of recognising and promoting the successes and contributions of the Irish people in Britain, and to give a voice and political representation to the community in Parliament.”