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City MP vows to continue to protect our NHS services from Tory privatisation plans

The Conservative expansion of the internal market has led to one third of contracts being awarded to private providers since the Health and Social Care Act it has been found. Some of these contracts are vast and their failures have wasted millions of pounds of public money.

Concerned residents of Portsmouth have been contacting city MP Stephen Morgan over Tory plans. This follows a debate last week as part of the Queen’s Speech when the Conservatives voted against Labour’s motion to protect our NHS, along with the DUP and the Liberal Democrats shamefully abstained.

Mr Morgan, along with key agencies and hundreds of his constituents, have expressed deep concerns over the current Government’s plans to sell off vital NHS services.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“It is clear that our NHS is not safe in the hands of a Tory government, especially one so keen on securing a quick free trade agreement with President Trump.

Warm words and promises that the NHS is not on the table when it comes to trade agreements is not sufficient, especially when a Tory government seeks to trade away our vital public services under the table”

This comes as the Tories and Trump want to lock-in privatisation into public services and erode the NHS’s power to negotiate affordable drug prices.

This along with the will to sell off access to the UK cache of patient data and to prevent future governments from taking policy decisions in the interest of public health over private profits has received great opposition from Labour.

The City MP said:

“The NHS, founded by Labour, should be a free at the point of delivery universal service for all. Its sole purpose should be the provision of healthcare. Successive Conservative Governments have flagrantly abandoned this principal by incessantly selling bits off to the highest bidder and pursuing a system of profit.

It came as no surprise then that the Tories voted against the Labour amendment that would safeguard NHS services and repeal the widely critics system of privatisation.

We need legally binding commitments and clearly defined negotiating mandates that ensure preservations and protections in all aspects of trade agreements, so our vital NHS services are safeguarded.”

Vital votes have taken place on ending privatisation and repealing the widely criticised 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The votes took place as part of the Queen’s Speech Debate and were a result of Labour adding an amendment that sought to put an end to further privatisation of the National Health Service.

Mr Morgan added:

“The Tories’ expansion of the internal market has led to one-third of contracts being awarded to private providers since the Health and Social Care Act. Some of these contracts are vast and their failures have wasted millions of pounds of public money.

The Lib Dems also flashed their true colours, by shying away from the vote and refusing to even take part the Lib Dems have sent a clear message that they put profit over people and would not be willing to stand up against NHS exploitation and privatisation.

We had the opportunity to put an end to this. Sadly the Lib Dems jumped straight back in with their old coalition partners”.

Stephen Morgan and Labour have repeatedly stood up for the NHS and sought to include legal protections in future trade agreements through a series of amendments to the Trade Bill as introduced in 2017.

 

 

 

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City MP announces major community policing consultation

Stephen Morgan MP has orchestrated a large-scale open consultation giving local residents the chance to have their say on the future of Portsmouth policing.

Answering constituent concerns alongside the Portsmouth South representative will be leading national policing figure and Chair of the Police Federation, John Apter and the city’s District Commander has also been invited to attend.

Mr Morgan said:

“From chatting to local residents on the doorstep and through communicating through my office, I know issues relating to police and crime are high on the agenda for Portsmouth people.

I believe that the community must be at the centre of discussions driving change and that Portsmouth people should have direct access to both their elected representatives and those tasked with keeping them safe.

That is why I have organised this open consultation. This is about frank, open discussion with the community at the heart of it.”

The Office for National Statistics showed that in 2018 there was a 27 percent increase in possession of weapons, a 17 percent rise in sex crimes, a 33 percent hike in robbery and an 11 percent increase in violence in Hampshire. This has meant that issues relating to policing and crime are a key community concern.

Mr Morgan said:

“Having been out with bobbies on the beat in every patch in my constituency, I have seen first-hand the challenges faced by our police force and the types of crime our community deals with daily.

In Hampshire alone we have 1,050 less officers than we did in 2010 and funding is down by a staggering 19%. This means that at a time when we have more crime, there are less officers and resources to deal with it.

Inevitably this means that it is our police force and our community who pay the price for Government funding cuts to public services. For this reason, it is essential that people have a platform to be heard.”

The city MP is no stranger to making a stand over policing and has already launched an online petition, has been out in every ward in his patch with local officers, regularly meets with the District Commander and Police Federation and has raised the issue consistently in parliament.

The event will be taking place on Friday 8 November 2019 at St Georges Church, Portsea, Portsmouth PO1 3AT on Friday 8 November from 17:00 until 18:30. Mr Morgan has stated that all Portsmouth residents are welcome.

Book your place at the event here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/policing-in-portsmouth-public-meeting-tickets-79200714469

To show support for the campaign please visit: http://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/police/

 

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City MP slams Government over ‘blatant’ plans to stop poorer people voting

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has accused the government of planning a “clearly discriminatory” and “blatant” attempt to effectively take the vote away from poorer people and many young and elderly voters, using proposals to demand official photo ID at the ballot box before voting.

During the Queen’s Speech, the Tories announced they would introduce a series of measures to secure electoral integrity, including requiring voters to show an approved form of photographic ID in order to vote.

Since 2010, there has been just one allegation of polling station fraud in Portsmouth, back in 2015.

Across the UK, out of more than 44 million votes cast in 2017, there was only one conviction resulting from 28 allegations of polling station voter fraud. The number of allegations fell to just 8 in 2018, again with just one resulting in a conviction.

3.5 million citizens do not have access to any photo ID, with 11 million citizens lacking a passport or driving license.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“This is a clear attempt by the government to stop the poor, the young and the elderly from voting, denying people their democratic rights and rigging the result of the next General Election.

It is a disgraceful attack on the civil liberties of those the Conservative Party deems unlikely to support them at the ballot box.

I simply will not allow a situation where the Tories can ride rough-shod over my constituents’ basic rights like this.

The people of Portsmouth deserve better. We’ve got to stop this plan – and that means stopping the Conservatives.”

 

 

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“People power prevails” – city MP ‘delighted’ with news lifesaving Cystic Fibrosis drugs have been green lit

Life-extending cystic fibrosis drugs will be available on the NHS next month after a deal was struck following four years of deadlock over their price tag.

City MP, Stephen Morgan has joined those he has long been campaigning alongside in celebrating today’s news.

Mr Morgan said:

“Today’s ground-breaking news that vital lifesaving Cystic Fibrosis drugs have been given the green light will be received ecstatically by those who have been dealing with the life-threatening condition.

People such as Ivy and her mum Gemma Weir, who I have been absolutely honored to have worked alongside in raising awareness of the necessity for Vertex and NHS England to reach a deal.

Together with Ivy from Portsmouth, I have written out to every MP in Parliament, spoken in debates, attended meetings with the pharmaceutical company and written to the Health Secretary. This is a demonstration that tenacity, dedication and relentless work put in by the people affected most can force big decisions at the top. This decision is long overdue from this Government, and while Ministers have taken far too long over this, today’s announcement is a victory for people’s power.

I would like to congratulate Ivy and Gemma on their success and am delighted for the 5,000 UK people now able to see the light at the end of what has previously been a very dark tunnel.”

Up to 5,000 patients in England will benefit from three £104,000-a-year pills after the deal with Boston-based maker Vertex. All three drugs, Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco, slow the decline of lung function – the main cause of death in cystic fibrosis. 

Negotiations had been at a standstill since Vertex this year rejected an offer of £500million over five years for access to the drug, the reason behind the Portsmouth representatives work with local activist Ivy and Gemma Weir.

Mr Morgan said:

“Ivy, Gemma and other activist have fought tooth and nail, often when no end was in sight, to get to where they are today. We have pioneered social media campaigners together, incessantly grilled the Health Secretary and his Ministers and lobbied vertex hard over these changes.

I am delighted that our efforts have been successful and this is a testament to the fact that people power prevails.”

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Portsmouth People given chance to create law as city MP puts it to the people

Today, Members of Parliament have their chance to be selected for a private member’s bill. This is a kind of raffle that allows any MP to enter the ballot, the winner of which can create a new law.

Stephen Morgan has put it to the people by issuing an open poll asking for constituents to get in touch with their own ideas and asking them to vote on some of his, based on some of his long-running campaigns.

Mr Morgan said:

“Portsmouth people should have direct access to democracy, that is why I have asked them for their thoughts.

This is an exciting opportunity for us to put or heads together and come up an idea for making Portsmouth even better.

If I was to be successful in this raffle like process, I want to make sure that Portsmouth people are right alongside me in changing the law, after all it is the community set to be most affected.”

Only a minority of bills become law, but publicity can help an issue. It cannot create a new tax or increase spending but does give MP’ the chance to change legislation.

Stephen Morgan MP offered his constituents via an online poll the following options alongside the chance to draft their own:

  • An end to auto-renewing subscriptions to avoid unfair charges you didn’t bargain for
  • Get coroners to record veteran suicide so we can get bespoke mental health services for our armed forces community
  • Harsher fines for those that commit environmental offences such as littering Put an end to smoking in our urban green spaces and parks

Within an hour the poll gathered over 250 votes and is still open to the public to participate. If successful, the city MP has vowed to bear in mind the views of his constituents when putting the bill forward.

Have you got a fresh, ground-breaking idea that could brighten up our community?

If so, please vote here

 

https://surveyhero.com/c/7c0ad262?fbclid=IwAR0mmXg1bpsaaBOQSEeKngCxuNuVKnb_-N__GyQ5VYJrnezsN6z434CJmZY

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“Portsmouth needs to do more to tackle climate emergency “ – states city MP

Friends of the Earth have produced detailed, local authority specific data for the ranking of councils across Britain on their record of tackling climate change.

Portsmouth has finished low down in the bottom quarter with just a 60% rating, putting it amongst some of the nation’s lowest-scoring. The data release coincides with national media coverage this week outlining how Portsmouth clean air charging zone is being scaled back.

Considering recent developments on the clean air zone, Mr Morgan said:

“Portsmouth is in the midst of an air pollution crisis that has been described by experts as ‘dangerous’. The fact that the centre of Portsmouth could become a chargeable clean air zone – rather than the whole of Portsea Island – is the manifestation of the Council Leader’s indifference to the matter.

We know as a result the 11,000 people in this city who live with heart conditions are at greater risk of stroke and heart attack and our children’s lung capacity is heavily reduced. We need a radical overhaul of the way we tackle air pollution, not this lack-lustre tokenistic gesture.”

City MP, Stephen Morgan has for some time been speaking out against the ‘reactionary’ approach taken by the city council to datel in tackling climate change locally and has cited the air pollution crisis as a testament to the current council administration’s indifference to the issue.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

The reason that the council is performing so poorly when it comes to tackling climate change is simple. The current administration is not taking the issue seriously enough.

The Lib Dems are presiding over an avoidable air pollution crisis, which has been allowed to reach highly dangerous levels and meant the Council Leader has subsequently gone to beg at the feet of Government for help.

We have some of the worst recycling rates, which is again one of the lowest in the country at 24%. There has been a failure to take any action over implementing a cycle hire scheme. We have some of the lowest tree coverage in the country. Our city really does deserve much better.

Climate Change is not something that you can shirk or avoid. These helpful findings from Friends of the Earth remind us again that the administration’s ‘dog ate my homework’ approach is not the bold attitude we need to address the biggest issue our city and our planet has ever faced. This report must now act as a wakeup call to the Council Leader to do better.”

In March Portsmouth Labour worked with community activists to force the council to declare a climate emergency. Since then, Labour councillors have been working hard to push the council into action.

The city MP added:

“It was the Labour Group, under my leadership, who pioneered the movement locally to declare a climate emergency. It was Labour who tabled the motion nationally to declare the same in Parliament.

Local authorities have an important and often over-looked role in cutting carbon emissions and solving the climate crisis. But they can’t do it all themselves, which is why I am pushing for more powers and finance alongside government action.

Since joining the shadow front benches, I have been visiting local authorities leading the charge when it comes to climate change to formulate party policy on best practice. In seeing these trailblazers, it made was apparent that Portsmouth must do so much more.

I will continue to put pressure on the government and council to place the climate emergency at the front of all decision making. Change starts at home”.

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Responding to the debate and vote in Parliament today, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“Mr Johnson’s deal is even worse than Mrs May’s. It is a sell out deal which sells out Portsmouth people’s jobs, rights and our city’s communities. Nationally it would pave the way for a sell-off of our cherished NHS and lead to a decade of deregulation. Even the Government’s own data reveals that the PM’s deal will cost the UK £130 billion in lost growth, and will reduce public finances by £50 billion meaning less money for our city’s schools and hospitals.

It is little wonder that hundreds and hundreds of Portsmouth people, businesses and trade unions have told me they don’t support Mr Johnson’s deal. Whether people voted leave or remain, it is nothing like anything the nation was promised back in June 2016, when Portsmouth South only narrowly voted to leave well over three years ago.

For these reasons, today I voted for the Letwin amendment. I am assured the majority in Parliament agreed, to prevent Britain crashing out on the 31 October, and allows proper public scrutiny of the withdrawal agreement.

Brexit has divided the nation and it is clear Mr Johnson cannot be trusted. The PM must be brave and put his deal to the people, not just the politicians, and let them have a final say”.

Mr Johnson’s deal has been heavily criticised, in part because of the significant detrimental implications it poses to workers rights. The commitments in Mr Johnson’s deal are significantly weaker even than those in the previous Prime Minister’s and – coupled with the removal of many level playing field projections from the Withdrawal Agreement will further weaken rights and protections.

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City MP backed unanimously after storming Labour’s re-selection procedure

Stephen Morgan will stand unopposed as the Labour candidate for Portsmouth South constituency when the nation next goes to the polls, it has been confirmed today (Saturday 19 October 2019).

As with all sitting Labour MPs, Mr Morgan has had to take part in the party’s trigger ballot to determine whether other candidates could challenge him for the right to contest the seat.

MPs need to gain the support of around two-thirds of local branches and affiliated organisations within their constituency.

Portsmouth Labour confirmed today that the sitting MP had stormed the selection process, receiving the support of all branches and all affiliates and therefore unanimously re-selected by the party for the next national poll, whenever that may be.

Responding to the announcement, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Being the MP for Portsmouth South, the area where I grew up, has been more than just a job. It has been the greatest honour of my life. Giving everything I have, every single day, has not been a chore or a challenge, but a privilege.

Since being elected I’ve been prioritising the matters local people raise with me whilst out and about in our community. That means standing up for our police as we lose 1,050 officers and crime goes up; fighting the £3.7m cuts to city schools; making sure our NHS gets the resources it needs; speaking up for our armed forces and for better mental health support for veterans; and listening to your views and concerns on Brexit.

But there is so much more for me to do for Portsmouth. That’s why I am delighted and humbled to have received the full support of Portsmouth Labour, every single local branch and every single affiliate organisation to be the Labour candidate in the next General Election. I would like to thank members for putting their trust in me.

Portsmouth is my home. With a record of delivery and a promise of more, I will continue to stand up for it”.

Mr Morgan took the seat from the Tories in the snap General Election of 2017, the first-ever Labour representative in the constituency’s history. The seat was gained by increasing the vote share by 21.5%, one of the largest increases in the country. The city MP is the Shadow Minister for Communities.

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Stephen Morgan MP reacts to Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal

“Working people. The NHS. Low income families. These will be hit hardest by the negative effects of Mr Johnson’s failure of a Brexit deal with the EU.

It runs riot over centuries of progress made towards workers’ rights, places profit over people and leaves the door open for our cherished NHS services to be pillaged by privatisation. With the Tory track record of eroding workers’ rights and selling of bits of the NHS to the highest bidder, is this any wonder?

I did not think that it would be feasible to see a deal worse for Portsmouth people than the one put forward by the Mrs. May, however, Mr Johnson seems to have surpassed even that.

It is nothing more than a race to the bottom on rights and protections.

There is nothing in the deal that has the ability to heal the current divide. I am not willing to vote for a deal that will make Portsmouth poorer and insult people to such a degree.

There is only one way out of this mess. The PM must be brave and put it to the people and let them have the final say”.

 

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Portsmouth MP sets out changes needed to combat climate change during Queen’s Speech debate

Stephen Morgan MP has delivered an impassioned speech to parliament today setting out what needs to be done to tackle climate change and applying scrutiny to the Government’s ropey track record on the issue.

The MP spoke out on the 4th day of debates relating to the Queen’s Speech and called on his colleagues to regard climate change at the top of the parliamentary agenda and to work together to achieve progress.

While delivering the speech, Mr Morgan said:

“The mildly technical nature and distant-sounding threat of ‘climate change’ may not be enough to invoke people to come out fighting from their beds.

But pretty much all of us would do so to protect our loved ones, our homes and our livelihoods, and to build a better world.

Why should defending against climate change be any different?

So, let’s be honest about the challenges we face, let’s tackle it together, and let’s redouble our efforts.”

Responding to Ministerial statements after the speech, Mr Morgan highlighted the Government’s poor track on climate change.

Mr Morgan said:

This Government, led by an ambassador of climate change indifference, is falling far short of the mark.

Failure to deliver on 24 out of 25 emissions-reducing actions recommended by the climate committee in 2018.

Just 7 of 24 indicators showing the UK’s underlying progress towards its climate goals being met.

Missed targets for the fourth and fifth Carbon Budgets, even more than predicted in last year’s official update.

We need to see a party in power that set aside serious proposals for tackling the world’s most pressing issue.”

Mr Morgan has also stressed the need for robust legislation and binding agreements, which experts such as Friends of the Earth have warned are essential in formulating an appropriate climate change bill.

On the introduction of a new environment change bill, Mr Morgan said:

“We must see an environment Bill strong enough to create change throughout Government, industry and society.

Allowing this Bill to be consumed by the Brexit shadow would be a fatal mistake and it is integral that we see an end to toothless scrutiny and non-binding legislation.”

The MP’s actions in parliament today are part of a broad campaign aimed at raising the profile and rate of action over tackling climate change. Mr Morgan regularly meets with Friends of the Earth, lead the Labour Group locally to declaring a climate emergency, has consistently voted in favour of climate legislation, hosts meeting with local activist and speaks out regularly in Parliament.

Mr Morgan also used the opportunity to lobby Government over illegal air pollution levels in the city and need to meet in Southsea Sea Defence Scheme.