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Keir Starmer backs Stephen Morgan’s re-election

Stephen Morgan has received the backing of the Shadow Brexit Secretary following his recent visit to Portsmouth discussing Britain’s future in the European Union.

The Labour candidate recently held a rally where Sir Keir Starmer was the keynote speaker. The event saw over 150 people attend and was standing room only. The rally follows the backing of Stephen Morgan by Best for Britain, the People’s Vote, For Our Future’s Sake and Vote for a Final Say all lending their hand to Morgan’s re-election.

Four consecutive independent polls put the Lib Dem candidate for Portsmouth South trailing in the hotly contested constituency with as little as 11% expected share of the vote.

Keir Starmer said:

“In Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth people have a proven parliamentarian with a track record of standing up for his community.

We are facing uncertain times where the effects of decisions made in parliament will define the futures for generations to come.

It is essential that we have representatives who are committed, capable and willing to work for their communities. Stephen Morgan is the only candidate who fits the bill in Portsmouth South.

I hope to continue working with Stephen after tomorrow’s General Election”

To view the tactical voting recommendations for Portsmouth South visit: https://tactical.vote/portsmouth-south

Stephen Morgan said:

“People want to get Brexit sorted. On the doorstep In Portsmouth we’ve been hearing more and more support for Labour’s solution to this divisive issue by putting the issue back to the people. We are the only party seeking to heal divide in our country by offering a final say in all circumstances.

It is well known that I campaigned to remain in 2016. I was delighted to share the stage with Keir Starmer who like me, has stated he will campaign to remain in a future confirmatory vote Labour will secure in Government.

A vote for any other party on Thursday puts this at risk”.

Alongside local residents and community leaders, representatives from the People’s Vote, For our Futures Sake and European Movement attended to show support for Stephen Morgan.

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Healthcare workers in Portsmouth join tactical voting websites in signing letter backing Stephen Morgan

Stephen Morgan, the 2017 General election winner and Portsmouth South Labour candidate, has been widely backed by major tactical voting websites and now healthcare professionals as the only candidate to beat the Tories here.

Local healthcare professionals in Portsmouth and Hampshire are among hundreds from across the country – many in target seats – who’ve signed an open letter urging people to vote tactically this Thursday to save the NHS from Brexit.

Mirek Synek, a former community paediatrician who worked in Portsmouth, said:

“I’ve signed the letter because I’m dead against privatisation of the NHS – it’s lunacy – a private healthcare system will be less accessible with lower quality of care. Before I retired, it was becoming more and more difficult to maintain good standards, due to the cuts facing the NHS.

If Boris Johnson wins a majority on Thursday, then a no deal Brexit is very much on the cards and it will mean complete disaster for the health service. The already poor levels of staffing will worsen. Many more EU doctors and nurses will leave.

That’s why, if you care about the future of the NHS, you need to vote tactically.”

Stephen Morgan said:

“We won here in 2017, it comes as no surprise that we are predicted to win here again on the 12 December. All recent polls, not paid for by any political party, put me a staggering 33 point lead over the Liberal Democrats.

The polling reflects my record of delivery in Portsmouth and the feedback that I am hearing from residents on the doorstep. I know that I am the only candidate capable of continuing to fight on behalf of our city, it’s great to know that the polling and major tactical voting websites agree.”

In their letter to all parliamentary candidates, the signatories point out that hospitals, health and care services across the country are already struggling to cope.

There are currently more than 100,000 unfilled posts across all English NHS trusts, including more than 40,000 nursing vacancies, a shortage of 11,000 doctors and 2,500 full time midwives in England. And there are a further 110,000 unfilled positions in social care.

People’s Vote, Best for Britain, For Our Future’s Sake, Vote for a Final Say and other tactical voting websites have all backed Stephen Morgan as the only candidate capable of beating the Tories in Portsmouth South.

Stephen Morgan said:

“From organising public rallies to attending meetings in parliament, I have been working with ‘People’s Vote’ for some time. I am the only local candidate who backs a final say. The Lib Dems want to ignore 17.4 million people while the Tories want to crash out with either a disastrous deal or a catastrophic no-deal.

People’s Vote have publicly stated that they believe I am the only candidate to beat the Tories and secure a final say on Brexit, where I will campaign to remain. This backs up recent comprehensive polling that puts me as the clear winner here Portsmouth South.”

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Stephen Morgan backs Labour’s game-changing social care plan

Labour has announced its game-changing plans to head off the social care crisis through introducing free personal care and increasing the number of care packages provided to working age adults and older people each year.

Recent Labour Party research has also revealed that since April 2017, over 9,200 people have approached their local authority for help to pay for their social care, after running out of money.

Free personal care will ensure people with dementia receive the same care as those with other conditions, reduce the burden on unpaid carers and benefit the NHS by reducing delayed transfers of care from hospital and admissions to care homes and hospitals.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth City Council has been far from exempt in terms of local authority cuts with local services we all rely on slashed by 48 percent since 2011, equating to £73m. This means that care services are in crisis.

I am proud to stand on a manifesto that sets out a strategy for real change and will properly fund social care for our older community members and reform the way we think about caring for people I need.“

Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to standing against the social care crisis. He has worked with Alzheimer’s UK to call for funding for dementia care, held officials to account while working in the Public Accounts Committee and constantly grilled Ministers in Parliament to fund local authorities properly.

Labour’s National Care Service will provide publicly funded care to all those that need it.

The next Labour government will:

• Introduce free personal care for older people
• Fund social care properly with £10 billion of additional funding by 2023/24
• Cap care costs
• Reform provision of care by ensuring care providers meet ethical standards of care
• Support the care workforce better to ensure people receive support from trained staff
New Labour research reveals that:
• 9,290 people have approached their local authority for help with their social care costs after running out of money to pay for it themselves – called ‘self-funders with depleted funds’ – since April 2017.
• 5,385 people – almost 15 a day – approached their local authority for help in 2018/19, an increase of 38% on the previous year.
• Based on the average cost of a home care package being £16 an hour and the average recipient of free personal care in Scotland receiving 8.8 hours of free personal care a week, free personal care will save older people £7,321 a year, drastically reducing the number of people depleting their savings to pay for their care.

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Stephen Morgan talks of ‘need for continued investment in our Royal Navy’ as HMS Prince of Wales Commissioning services gets underway

HMS Prince of Wales, commissioned by the last Labour Government, is the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier to be commissioned into the fleet and forms part of the carrier strike group set to deploy in 2021.

2017 General Election winner, Stephen Morgan said:

“As MP for Portsmouth South, I had the privilege of visiting HMS Prince of Wales both for her naming day and twice when she was under construction in Rosyth.

Having seen the tireless efforts of the shipbuilders on site, I know how much skill and craftsmanship is required to carry out a technological feat such as this. It is essential that we continue to invest in our naval capability and I am proud of my track record of doing just that.

Being the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South has given me the opportunity to directly meet with the Government Procurement Minister to lobby hard for the A31es to be base-ported in our city, take action over getting a dry docking facilities here in Portsmouth and spend time with the shipbuilders and naval personal who tirelessly work for the good of the nation.

To carry on being a strong national voice for Portsmouth on the Royal Navy and all our armed forces, I need your support on Thursday 12 December.”

The £3.1bn aircraft carrier is the eighth Royal Navy vessel to bear the name, and is named after the previous ship to hold the title.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Not only does HMS Prince of Wales mark the rebirth of Naval Aviation and showcase the top-class engineering held in our nation, the construction of these ships has provided a welcome boost to our economy and ship building sector.

The process involved 20,000 workers, 200 suppliers and was built in 9 locations across the UK. It is a manifestation of our nation’s ability to come together and produce something remarkable.

The fact that Portsmouth has played such an instrumental role in this undertaking truly does secure our city as the heart and home of the Royal Navy.”

Stephen Morgan is no stranger to standing up for our Royal Navy and during his time as MP spent time with naval forces both in the UK and overseas. In a bid to secure the Dry Dock facility in Portsmouth South and ensure the A31es all the city home he has been lobbying the Ministry of Defence tirelessly, submitted parliamentary questions, met with Ministers and met with the Naval Base commander regularly here in Portsmouth.

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Stephen Morgan backs positive plan for small business

Stephen Morgan has backed his party’s small business pledge which seeks to support local organisations through Green investment, upgrading essential infrastructure, reforming the business rates system and stamping out late payments.

This commitment comes as Labour launches 20 pledges to help small businesses and rejuvenate Britain’s high streets. The Federation of Small Businesses has said that “the business support landscape is complex, with a patchwork of public and private sector initiatives at both local and national levels” which Labour has sought to address with the pledges.

Stephen Morgan said:

“We need a Government that both invests in small business and works to foster an environment that encourages their success

Unfortunately, in recent times we have seen periodic hikes in business rates that can make life impossible for SMEs, and there has been made no serious attempt to stop big business making late payments to smaller enterprises – which we know can fatally undermine a struggling company.

Labour is the true party of small business. This is Labour’s plan to end that unfairness, and level the business playing field in Portsmouth South and across the country. That’s real change for small businesses.”

• £19 billion investment for Labour’s Green Transformation Fund
• Upgrade the region’s infrastructure by connecting 3.9 million households and businesses to full-fibre Broadband including and South Coast rail capacity improvements
• 393 Post Banks in the South East providing face-to-face, relationship banking,
• Stamp out late payments
• Scrap quarterly reporting for the smallest businesses
• Fundamentally reform business rates

Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for small business. He has created a support local campaign, worked closely with others over the crisis on our high streets, hosted roundtable action meetings with other SMEs, created local awards for business, backed Labour’s 5 point plan for the highstreets and regularly meets with business leaders.

Additional pledges in the 20-point plan include:

· A £250 billion UK National Investment Bank and network of Regional and National Development Banks to give small businesses and the industries of the future the funding they need.

· Stamping out late payments that hit smaller businesses.

· Providing free full fibre broadband to every business premises.

· Giving SMEs access to funding for training raised through the Apprenticeship Levy.

·Scraping quarterly reporting for businesses with a turnover of under £85,000.

· Using government procurement to support SMEs and economic growth.

· Fundamentally reforming the outdated business rates system, including switching to annual valuations.

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Stephen Morgan backs Labour’s plan to improve education standards for all children

Labour is today announcing a plan to improve education standards for all children following the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revealed on Tuesday that children in the UK are worse off than those in other countries.

The total additional investment in schools over three years will amount to £25 billion compared to £14 billion promised by the Conservatives.

The extra funding will be used to raise school standards across the country, with a range of new policies aimed at improving educational outcomes.

Stephen Morgan said:

“The first stage of the battle against inequality is ensuring that every child gets access to a first-rate education. I am a firm believer that if children work hard and aim high they should be able to achieve.

Sadly, in Portsmouth our schools have lost £34.9 million since 2010 and each of the 51 schools in our patch is set to lose £4 million following recent Governments austerity measures.

I am proud to represent the only party with a comprehensive plan for tackling the crisis in our schools. I welcome today’s announcements which is another positive plan for Portsmouth.

I went to schools in Portsmouth. I want future generations to have the same, if not better, opportunities than I did. Education spending has declined a staggering 25% in seven years. I’ll keep fighting for our city’s schools. It is what our children deserve.”

From lobbying Government Ministers with Portsmouth teachers in parliament to going out and visiting every school in his patch, Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for funding our city schools. He needs your support on the 12 December to carry on this vital work.

Stephen Morgan said:

“I went to schools in Portsmouth. I want future generations to have the same, if not better, opportunities than I did. Education spending has declined a staggering 25% in seven years. I’ll keep fighting for our city’s schools. It is what our children deserve.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Labour will transform education standards in this country for every child, capping class sizes and ensuring every child is taught by a qualified teacher in a safe school building.

“We will invest in record per pupil funding, restore the Pupil Premium and close the gap in support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, to give every child the support they need.

“The Tories cannot be trusted to do this. They have slashed school funding for the first time in a generation, leaving pupils taught by unqualified teachers, crammed in to super-sized classes, and not receiving the support they need.”

Labour will:

• Cap all class sizes at 30 by recruiting nearly 20,000 more teachers
• Guarantee that every child is taught by a qualified teacher, ensuring around 25,000 currently unqualified staff are fully trained during Labour’s first term in office
• Ensure teachers will have more time for lesson planning and professional development
• Invest in ensuring that all school buildings are safe, with a new fund of over £7bn to tackle the backlog of vital but overdue repairs and install safety measures such as sprinklers
• Close the gap in funding for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, with extra funding to reverse deficits in the High Needs Budget
• Fully reverse cuts to the Pupil Premium, and increase spending on it above inflation to support the most disadvantaged pupils.

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Lib Dems caught misleading voters, again!

A Lib Dem member and former candidate has been criticised for misleading voters. A letter has been sent to Portsmouth people claiming a Lib Dem former candidate is an “independent polling expert”. The letter makes false claims about the choice before electors on Thursday 12 December.

Large numbers of outraged Portsmouth residents have been contacting Stephen Morgan and turning to social media to call out the misleading information widely reported in the national media.

Mike Smithson’s letter, which is being delivered across the Tory-Labour marginal, stated that the race was between the Lib Dems and Tories. The Lib Dems have failed to win the seat in 2015 and again in 2017, with no independent evidence suggesting they are on course to win the Portsmouth South seat in next week’s General Election.

The three most recent constituency polls (YouGov MRP, Best for Britain MRP and Delta) all put current incumbent Stephen Morgan ahead of the Tory candidate, with the Lib Dem trailing badly as low as 11% of the vote share.

Stephen Morgan said:

“I am very grateful to all constituents who have brought this to my attention. This letter insults the intelligence of Portsmouth people. Any voter can see from the tactical voting sites and recent polls that I am only candidate able to beat the Tories on Thursday 12 December.

Sadly this is not the first time in this campaign we have seen attempts to mislead voters and this is yet another example desperate tactics. After this election there will be change in our country. With so much at stake, I call on all candidates of all political persuasions, to do better for our city.

At the start of this election I committed to running a clean campaign. No mudslinging. No dodgy polls. No personality politics. I hope all candidates in our great city will now do the same”.

On social media, those who received the letter called out Mr Smithson who is a longstanding supporter of the Lib Dems and a former candidate.

Attempting to respond to the criticism, Mike Smithson admitted he didn’t agree the list of constituencies included in his letter. He also stated that recent polling had “moved the needle”.

On his blog, published today he said:

“I should explain that while I approved the text of the letters I did not have a prior view of the list of constituencies they were going to.

This was unlike [the General Election of 2017] when a similar exercise was carried out with me approving every single seat on the constituency list”.

He went on: “The YouGov MRP poll and other events have moved the needle. The [Lib Dem] party has given me assurances about the future”.

Responding Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator said:

“The Lib Dems have no credibility and should apologise for trying to mislead voters.

The last time Jo Swinson and her party were as close to the Tories as these charts claim, they were in government voting for the bedroom tax, privatising the NHS, tripling tuition fees and cutting taxes for the super-rich and big business”.

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New charter for arts another positive plan for Portsmouth

Eddie Izzard joined Stephen Morgan on the campaign trail to back Labour’s new charter for the arts as part of its commitment to transform the country.

Labour promises support the arts at the “heart of government” with £1bn of new investment in a renewed cultural strategy.

Welcoming the proposals, 2017 winner Stephen Morgan, standing for re-election as Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, brought Eddie Izzard to the city to promote the positive plan for our city’s communities.

The Arts for All policy charter sets out a comprehensive programme of support for Britain’s arts and culture sector, promising to radically expand access and increase funding for the arts.

Labour’s new charter for the arts sets out ambitious plans to:

• Invest £1billion to transform the UK’s cultural landscape by upgrading and building new libraries, museums, galleries and arts venues across the country
• Invest £175 million a year in an arts pupil premium to give every primary school student in the country access to creative and cultural experiences
• Launch a new ‘Town of Culture’ competition
• Invest £1 billion in Youth Services
• Maintain free access to national museums and galleries
• Introduce greater transparency in lottery funding and ensure grants are shared out fairly between all our communities

Eddie Izzard said:

“The cohesive affect that the arts have on our communities could not be more needed at this time of uncertainty and division.

Only Labour have a manifesto pledge to recognise this and I sincerely hope that Portsmouth South residents back Stephen Morgan as the only candidate to carry on the vital work that he has been doing for the city.”

Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth deserves a government with a wide-ranging programme and unwavering commitment to support and fund the arts.

I want to ensure that every child in every part of our city and our country has the opportunity to learn an instrument, engage with the arts and develop their creativity.

I am really pleased proper funding for the arts will be central to Labour’s commitment in Government to enable Portsmouth people to lead more enjoyable and fulfilling lives.”

This follows local authority funding cuts meaning that national portfolio organisation funding has fallen by £14 million in the past year, according to new data from Arts Council England.

The 649 applicable organisations in ACE’s portfolio received £113.3 million in funding from local councils in 2016/17, down 11% from £127.5 million the previous year.

In Government, the party would establish a co-ordinating committee for arts and culture working across government departments to drive a national cultural renewal.

Eddie Izzard then joined Stephen Morgan and hundreds of local Labour activists at a major public event hosted at a local business.

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Positive plan for Portsmouth Pensioners Announced

Stephen Morgan backs Labour’s seven policies which have been released as part of the ‘Pensioners Pledge’. These seek to “restore dignity and support” for older people living in Britain.

Labour has set out a positive plan for Portsmouth pensioners in more detail with a new ‘Pensioners Pledge Card’, after the Tories chose to ignore the biggest issue affecting older people in their manifesto; the social care crisis.

Labour’s ‘Pensioners Pledge Card’ includes plans to:

  •  Introduce free personal care and invest £10.8 billion in social care provision
  • Keep the free bus pass for older people
  • Restore 3,000 bus routes that have been cut under the Tories and give Portsmouth City Council the powers to regulate services again
  • Stop the Tories taking free TV licences from the up to 3540 households with someone over-75 in Portsmouth South (69% of all households in the constituency)
  • Pay-outs of up to £31,000 for the 4300 women in Portsmouth South who lost out unfairly when the Tories changed the state pension age without fair notice
  • Invest in Warm Homes for All with insulation for every home – and in the process create 1475 unionised construction jobs and supply chain jobs for the next generation in Portsmouth
  • End the injustice of the state skimming 50% off the mineworkers’ pensions schemes

Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate in Portsmouth South, said,

“People who have dedicated so many years to their families and communities deserve to be treated with respect. But years of Tory and Lib Dem cuts have robbed so many pensioners of their dignity. Look at what’s happened to our country in the last few years: more pensioners in poverty, and more children suffering the same.

This a rich country – we can do better than this. Labour will deliver real change for pensioners, supporting them to live the comfortable lives they deserve. Labour’s on your side.”

The Conservatives have cut £8 billion from social care since 2010 – and have not allocated one penny extra to social care in their manifesto. According to Age UK, 1.5 million older people are not getting the care they need.

Stephen Morgan added:

“One of the things that inspired me to get into politics was seeing my D-Day veteran Southsea grandfather not get the standard of care he deserved. Since then, I have done everything in my power to stand up for our city’s older residents.

I have a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for older people. Relentlessly lobbying the Government over the Tories snatching away the free TV licence, fighting for investment in social care, consulting the community to improve bus services, meeting regularly with groups to discuss better dementia care and support for older people, and liaising with the Portsmouth Pensioners on their concerns and ideas.

I have made progress, but there is so much more to do. In order to carry on this vital work, I need your support on Thursday 12 December”.