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All aboard! Portsmouth Labour hit the road ahead of Thursday’s local elections

Labour candidates and members joined Stephen Morgan MP, Portsmouth’s Labour Group Leader on the battle bus as it toured the city wards
Portsmouth Labour painted the town red this weekend as they hopped aboard their battle bus ahead of this week’s important local elections.
The vintage routemaster bus stopped at several locations across the city visiting key locations on a route from Paulsgrove to Old Portsmouth, visiting a group of cyclists, litter pickers, and campaigners hosting street stalls and public consultations.
Candidates Judith Smyth, Tom Coles, George Fielding, Graham Heaney, David Horne, Luke Evans, Raj Ghosh, Rumal Khan, Sue Castillon, Liam Turish and Sumel Chowdhury joined Cllr Stephen Morgan and Cllr Yahiya Chowdhury to spread news of Labour’s positive plan for the city across their wards.
Voters will go to the polls from 7am to 10pm this Thursday 3rd May, and Cllr Morgan has called upon people in Portsmouth to get out and make sure their voices are heard.
Cllr Stephen Morgan MP, said:
‘It was fantastic to get out across the city with our brilliant candidates and speak with local people about what a Labour council could do for them.
Tory cuts have savaged vital local services here in Portsmouth. Living standards have dropped, our schools have been cut, and our NHS is starved of the resources it needs.
The Conservatives are making us pay more, but we are getting less.
Labour have a positive plan for our city. We’ll take Portsmouth forward, investing in truly affordable housing, social care, and make a fairer city works for everyone.
Thursday is your chance to get out and send a message to the Tories that Portsmouth can do far better with Labour.’

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City MP and Southsea Deli join forces in backing Jamie Oliver’s junk food ad ban

Stephen Morgan MP and local busines join campaign to ban direct junk food advertising to children to help end obesity crisis
Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, this week followed up joining Parliamentary colleagues and Jamie Oliver’s team to press the Government to ban online and television advertising for junk food targeted at children by launching a campaign in Portsmouth.
The UK has one of the worst childhood obesity rates in Western Europe. More than third of 10-11-year olds are either overweight or obese. Without drastic change, half of all UK children are set to be obese or overweight by 2020. Obesity figures among the adult population are even worse.
This obesity crisis is costing the NHS dearly. We spend about £6 billion on the medical costs of related conditions and further £10 billion treating diabetes.
The campaign says that part of the problem is advertising. Specifically that targeted at young audiences most vulnerable to them.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
Children are being bombarded with junk food adverts on telly, online, on buses, trains, and even when they are just walking down the street.

If the government are serious about tackling obesity they’ve got to tackle this sooner rather than later”.
Jamie Oliver added:
It’s time we put child health first. I’m calling for the government to introduce a 9pm watershed on junk food advertising on TV, and for proper controls on what ads kids see online, in the street and on public transport. 

Currently, there’s nothing to protect our kids from seeing these adverts – apart from covering their eyes! It’s high time we make it easier for children to make good decisions.”


Daniel Nowland, a member of Jamie’s Food Team and owner of the new Southsea Deli on Victoria Road North has joined forces with Stephen to promote the campaign. 
Daniel Nowland said:
The benefits of a healthy and sustainable diet are enormous for children and adults alike. My new deli in the heart of Southsea prides itself on responsibly sourced local fresh produce, helping residents in Portsmouth eat better. 

I’m fully behind Jamie Oliver’s AdEnough campaign backed by our local MP Stephen Morgan.

It was a pleasure to help launch the Portsmouth campaign here at my local business”.

City MP supports tougher sentences for assaults on emergency workers

Stephen Morgan MP supports tougher sentences for assaults on emergency workers
New Bill would make it an aggravated criminal offence to attack 999 staff as sexual assaults on ambulance workers up 100% in South East
Stephen Morgan MP was in Westminster this Friday to give his support to a new law being proposed by Chris Bryant MP, which for the first time would make it an aggravated offence to sexual assault an emergency worker. It builds on the Private Members Bill that will already offer protection against physical assaults and that Mr Morgan supported last October.
With a shocking rise of 100% in sexual assaults against ambulance workers alone in the South East, this law aims to help deter people from assaulting the workers and to ensure those that do face tough sanctions.
Chris Bryant’s Private Members’ Bill, which passed its third reading in the Commons on Friday, already makes physical assaults against an emergency worker an aggravated offence, and this most recent amendment will ensure sexual assaults on them are considered aggravated as well.
The new law has support from the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, the Fire Bridges Union, the Police Federation, Alcohol Concern, the British Transport Police and the GMB union.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
‘I backed the bill to protect our protectors because it’s absolutely unacceptable that the hard-working men and women in Portsmouth’s NHS, Fire and Police services face assault and abuse simply for doing their jobs.
‘Sexual assault is always intolerable, but the growing trend of sexual assaults on, in particular, ambulance workers and paramedics must be stamped out immediately.
‘So I’m proud to give them the support and protection they need and that’s why I’ve backed this amendment.’
Chris Bryant MP, added:
 ‘No one should be attacked just for doing their job, let alone when that job is putting themselves on the line for the public good, but too many emergency workers have told me of the sexual abuse and threats they face so we must ensure this Bill gives them the protections they need.
‘In the time of #metoo and #timesup we simply can not stand by whilst sexual assaults on emergency workers grow so I’m thankful to have Stephen’s support for this amendment to give them the protection they need.’
 

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MP backs customs union motion to protect 10,000 Portsmouth jobs

Stephen Morgan was in the House today in support of cross-party motion to negotiate comprehensive UK-EU customs deal
Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, was present in the House of Commons today to back a motion in favour of a motion, supported by Conservative and Labour backbenchers, to press the Government to negotiate arrangements for a customs union with the European Union.
In January 2018, in a speech to Mansion House, the Prime Minister explicitly ruled out a UK-EU customs union following Brexit. Instead, suggesting that the negotiation could have a looser ‘customs arrangement’.
The manufacturing industry is worth £785 million each year to Portsmouth and supports over 10,000 jobs in the city.
The Aerospace, Defence, and Security group, the trade organisation representing the defence industry have said, ‘a customs union with the EU is a practical solution that would put businesses in the best possible position to compete after Brexit. We welcome the position set out by the Leader of the Opposition that Labour will support a customs union with the EU and stay in important EU agencies’.
Labour’s commitment to the Customs Union has also been praised by the CBI, who said, ‘a customs union will put jobs and living standards first by remaining in a close economic relationship with the EU…This evidence cannot be ignored. To do so would create barriers where there are none, risking prosperity and future living standards.’
Today’s debate came on the back of several successive defeats for the Government on the EU Withdrawal Bill in the House of Lords, including on making the negotiation of a customs union a primary objective of the Government.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
The Government’s ruling out of a customs union is shockingly irresponsible, and shows once again the Tories are willing to put party before country.
Industry groups and businesses have made it clear that a customs union is the only way to protect manufacturing jobs.
As MP, it my duty to put local jobs first.’

MP asks Secretary of State: What more is left to cut?

As Portsmouth schools face further cash slash, MP asks Secretary of State: What more is left to cut?
Funding per-pupil will fall by £242 between 2016-20, with class sizes rising and staff numbers falling
Today in the House of Commons, MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, once again challenged the Secretary of State for Education on school cuts in the city.
Mr Morgan asked Damian Hinds, ‘can the Secretary of State tell us where Portsmouth should make savings, as they are already having to do – should they cut teachers? Increase class sizes further? Shorten the school day?’ The Portsmouth MP told the Conservative front bench ‘parents and teachers in my constituency deserve better’.
This is the latest development in Mr Morgan’s campaign for fairer funding for city schools and this weekend he met with local teachers to discuss their concerns, having visited three city schools the day before.
The MP previously raised the issue of school funding directly with the Prime Minister, following several local cases involving teachers paying for basic supplies and pupil’s school meals from their own wages.
New research by the school cuts coalition of unions (NEU, NAHT, ASCL, UNISON, GMB and Unite) shows that 75% of secondary and 56% of primary schools in Portsmouth have seen class sizes increase since 2014. At the same time, they are set to lose over £3million in funding by 2019/20.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
‘Schools in Portsmouth have been doing all they can to shield their pupils from the damage caused by the Government’s decision to cut £2.8 billion from school budgets since 2015. But the lack of investment is really starting to bite.
‘Our city’s schools are set to lose £3.6m by 2020. From my conversations with local teachers and parents, the experience on the ground varies wildly from that expressed at the dispatch box by the Secretary of State this afternoon.
The Government continues to be willing to turn a blind eye to the crisis in our schools.’

Portsmouth MP hosts forum for mental health care providers

Stephen Morgan, the MP for Portsmouth South, has hosted a forum for mental health care providers across the city.
The meeting was an opportunity for mental health support services and charities to discuss challenges and ideas for closer collaboration, better partnership working and share best practice.
The aim of the meeting was to identify ways in which delivery of services can be improved so that those who need to, can access the best care possible.
Hot topics including cuts to funding, increasing demand and availability of local services.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“It was really helpful to have so many providers of mental health support services together in one room for a much needed discussion about how services can be improved in the face of cuts.
 “It is becoming more and more important that care providers share best practice, work collaboratively and pool their expertise to ensure that service users receive the best care possible. 
“This meeting was another way I’m raising the profile of mental health in our city and fighting for improved services. 
 “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who came to share their views and those who work day in, day out to support people with mental health.”
 

Police officers quitting at some of highest rates on record analysis reveals

Stephen Morgan MP says Government must wake up to reality of cuts as communities face the consequences of a thinner blue line
New analysis from the House of Commons Library has found that police officers in the England and Wales are leaving the profession at some of the highest levels since records began.
Almost 9,000 officers left the force last year, a rise of close to 50% since Labour left office. Many have put the rise in resignations down to a fall in real-terms pay and soaring workloads.
At 31 March 2017 there were 105,571 police officers in frontline roles – this was the lowest level under the new measurement framework. The number of police officers in frontline roles fell by 14% between 2010 and 2017, and by 0.8% between 2016 and 2017.
The report comes as the Police Federation warns 8 out of 10 officers are displaying signs of depression and anxiety.
Hampshire Police Federation Chair, John Apter, said:
“I’ve been saying for some time that cuts to the policing budgets will have consequences and some of those consequences are that officers are suffering as a result of the pressures being put on them”.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
This Government’s treatment of our police officers has fallen way below par. It is little wonder so many have had enough of being underpaid and overworked.
Crime has gone up 10% in our city at a time when Hampshire Constabulary has lost £80 million from its budget, with more to come.
These relentless cuts have left forces demoralised and made it far more difficult for our talented officers to do their jobs safely and effectively.
I commend Portsmouth’s police for their continued bravery and commitment under the toughest of conditions. I’ll continue to fight for them and the communities they so ably serve.’


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City MP visits Hovertravel to celebrate English tourism on St George’s Day

Portsmouth South MP meets apprentices and talks Solent tourism on trip to Isle of Wight
 
Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, visited Hovertravel this St George’s Day to see how the world’s only hovercraft passenger service use apprentices to successfully support their operation and bring thousands of tourists to the Solent.
 
Starting at Hovertravel’s Southsea terminal Mr Morgan was met by Neil Chapman where they boarded the 0930 crossing from Southsea. After the ten-minute journey to the Isle of Wight, Mr Morgan spent time with apprentices who explained their roles and development.
 
The visitor economy generates around £600 million for Portsmouth annually and supports thousands of jobs.
 
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
 
I was delighted to celebrate St George’s day aboard our iconic hovercraft, highlighting the great offer English tourism has to make to people across the UK and around the world.
 
It was also fantastic to hear about Hovertravel’s contribution to our local economy and talk with the company’s apprentices who are bringing great value to our area and building their expertise on the job.’
 
Sarah Tomlinson, HR Manager at Hovertravel added:
 
‘This was an excellent opportunity for our apprentices to tell Stephen their individual stories and explain why they chose an apprenticeship program rather than going to university.
 
They were also able tell him about the type of work they do, how they contribute to the company and how our apprentice initiative is helping them to progress with their career and further studies.’
 

Portsmouth MP joins X Forces to celebrate success of enterprise project

X Forces
City MP Stephen Morgan has joined several organisations at Portsmouth Guildhall to celebrate the success of the 2017 Naval Families Enterprise Project, and launch its second programme which is due to run in Plymouth.
The charity, which is part of X Forces Enterprise (XFE), is an organisation which supports military veterans and their families in business, and organises regular courses and initiatives to equip them with the skills, support and mentoring necessary for self-employment.
The event, which was held in the Portsmouth Room at the Guildhall, was a reunion and networking session for the sixteen organisations who contributed to the 2017 project in Portsmouth was also the launch-pad for the second programme which will start in September 2018.
The initial project, organised by XFE, covered enterprise learning, business planning, networking as well as on-going support for the naval families.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“It is fantastic that through X – Forces Enterprise, veterans and their families in Portsmouth have access to first class advice and support on how to get their business ideas off the ground.
 “Small businesses form the backbone of our city, the skills that ex-services personnel are able to gain through this initiative do not only benefit the individuals and their families, but also bring innovative new businesses to Portsmouth.”
Mr Morgan was joined by Steve Futter from Solent LEP, Gary Lydiate, Chief Executive of Kilfrost Ltd and Cllr Michael Cheshire, Leader of the Havant County Council. Joining them were both the XFE and Greenwich Hospital teams and representatives from the MoD, the Service Charities and Associations, Corporates including NatWest, Landmarc and Dell EMC, and beneficiaries.
Ren Kapur MBE, Founder and CEO of XFE added:
“I am delighted to welcome back our successful cohort from last year. This project is a remarkable achievement, both within XFE and the supporting naval communities. To be able to see the progress and success of the first cohort, and then launch a new cohort to start later this year humbles us and at the same time demonstrates the great support there is from the community. This is a great start and augurs well for a sustainable path for ex-service personnel and their families.”

Tackling antisemitism

“It was important to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community last month as I did in Parliament Square, joining dozens of other Labour MPs as we and countless others, gathered to voice dismay at the rise of antisemitism that has sadly gained root in the party and in wider society.
The call that evening was ‘enough is enough’. The harrowing testimonies of abuse suffered by Jewish Members of Parliament in the House earlier this week served as an important reminder of just how urgent this call is.
I was deeply moved by their bravery and fortitude as I listened to the debate in the chamber, but following that discussion, it is vital that we are now moved to action.
I am determined that my party, both locally and nationally, be a place to fight antisemitism alongside British Jews – and never a refuge for those who seek to intimidate them – for I joined Labour to fight prejudice and discrimination and promote equality and diversity.
Yet the fight against antisemitism is not one for Britain’s Jews to fight alone: it is all of ours.
Portsmouth has one of the oldest Jewish communities in our country, and I am proud of that fact. This week, I visited my local synagogue to meet the community and reiterate my commitment in standing alongside our city’s Jewish community in tackling antisemitism and offering my personal support in increasing understanding in our city.
Labour must regain the trust of the Jewish community and its leadership; if we don’t we will have failed to defend the anti-racist values we seek to uphold.
I will continue to take action here in Portsmouth, and as our city’s representative in Parliament, won’t rest until we rid antisemitism from our society”.
Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South