Conor Burns was born in Northern Ireland and lived in Belfast before moving with his family to Hertfordshire in 1980. He studied at the University of Southampton, and later served as the leader of the Conservative group on Southampton City Council.
He is openly gay, but as a Roman Cathoic was hesitant about supporting equal marriage, calling for "cast iron guarantees" that religious organisations would not be forced into conducting same-sex weddings.. He later said that he had been subject to "unpleasant lobbying" by opponents of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, but had decided to vote for it on second reading and then confirmed via Twitter that he had done so.
Burns was appointed a Knight Bachelor on 9 June 2023 as part of the 2022 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours.
- http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/local/gay-ulster-born-mp-conor-burns-not-for-same-sex-marriage-1-4381544 "Gay Ulster born MP Conor Burns not for same sex marriage" Belfast News Letter 18 October 2012
- http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/02/05/catholic-tory-mp-conor-burns-as-a-gay-man-i-dont-see-how-i-can-vote-against-equality/ "Catholic Tory MP Conor Burns: As a gay man I don’t see how I can vote against equality" by Scott Roberts, Pink Paper 5 February 2013