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City MP votes to increase police officers in our neighbourhoods

Stephen Morgan MP has voted in favour of a motion that would have seen a greater number of police officers and the restoration of neighbourhood policing teams. The opposition day debate, which took place yesterday, aimed to address ten years of cuts to forces across the country including Hampshire.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“In Portsmouth we have seen the direct consequences of fewer police officers and more crime born out of government cuts to police numbers and local authority services.

In backing this motion, I voted with all Portsmouth people who have been affected by crime in mind.

The Government must take responsibility for taking over 20,000 police off our streets and not just restore these numbers but increase personnel in accordance with crime rates.”

Mr Morgan’s action comes amidst recent statistics painting a damning picture of crime in the UK.

Since 2010, the number of police officers each year has fallen, with a 12.4% decrease recorded in 2019 compared with 2019. Subsequently, hate crime has more than doubled and violent crime increased by 13,000 cases in that time.

Mr Morgan added:

“It is telling that Government opposed the Labour proposed motion to properly fund and resource our police force in Hampshire. I’ve long argued the current funding formula penalises Portsmouth and our constabulary.

To simply reinstate the officers the Tories took away is not an improvement, but a tokenistic gesture designed to detract attention from their poor policing record.

Portsmouth people and our dedicated police officers are bearing the brunt of less bobbies on the beat and more crime. I will continue to hold Government to account over their shameful record.”

For some time the city MP has been running a campaign to get more bobbies back on the beat to bring down crime. To show your support visit www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/police 

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Portsmouth MP continues call on Government to act following latest city high street casualty

Stephen Morgan MP has slammed Government inaction following yet another high street closure planned for Portsmouth’s high streets, this time Halifax bank on Palmerston Road.

Mr Morgan has raised specific concerns about the effect that this closure will have on older community members and small businesses.

Mr Morgan said:

“This Government is failing the nation’s high streets and with it, the people of Portsmouth. Already we have seen Knight & Lee put down its shutters for the last time and Debenhams disappear from Palmerston Road.

Now the imminent closure of Halifax bank will be to the detriment of our older community members who may prefer face to face transactions and small businesses, who are already under considerable strain.

I am in discussion with Lloyds Banking Group, who are the decision makers when it comes to the Halifax closure. I will be urging them to think very carefully about their proposals which is yet another decision putting our high streets at risk”.

Mr Morgan has long been taking action to support the high streets. He has created a support local campaign backing small business, hosted roundtable meetings with SMEs and is lobbying for business rate reform.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Hampshire has already seen 1,600 shop closures in recent years affecting hundreds of local jobs and leaving high streets bare and neglected.

Experts warn that with closures of high street banks comes damaging consequences for independent shops due to decreased footfall.

The issue we are seeing is indicative of a bleak national picture born out of Government’s failure to address challenges faced by the high street. I will continue to make the case for action to bring our shopping areas back from the brink”

 

 

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City MP calls for “comprehensive, integrated Defence Strategy” during parliamentary debate

Recently appointed Shadow Defence Procurement Minister, Stephen Morgan MP called on Government to implement a wider Defence Industrial Strategy while closing a debate on helicopters in our armed forces.

Mr Morgan’s calls for a comprehensive strategy, including rotary aircrafts, follow his recent probes into the Government’s delays to Crowsnest Radar.

Mr Morgan said:

“As an MP honoured to represent the city hosting the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers which will rely heavily on Merlin helicopter’s Crowsnest radar capability, it is essential that defence strategy includes wide reaching plans for rotary aircrafts.

I took the opportunity today as frontbench Shadow Minister closing the debate to call on Government to set out their plans for the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

It is imperative that in that review we prioritise building British and sovereign capability if we are to retain our operational advantage.”

The 322 rotary-wing aircrafts in the UK armed forces play a crucial role in defending national security. Roles include reconnaissance, troop transport, supply drops and radar capability.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“We know that future air warfare will be increasingly complex, with significant technological advancements over the lifetime of a single rotary wing aircraft.

As threats evolve, we must evolve with them. And without a comprehensive Strategic Defence and Security Review, this will be deeply challenging.”

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City MP praises NHS staff as QA rated “good”

Stephen Morgan MP has praised the efforts of local NHS staff in an open letter sent out today. The MP’s action follows today’s announcement by regulator, Quality Care Commission (CQC), that the hospital has been awarded a ‘good’ rating.

A team of CQC inspectors visited the hospital in October and November 2019. Upon inspecting the quality of care being provided, the overall rating of the trust has improved from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“It is the staff at QA hospital who are the driving force behind recent improvements. Their dedication and relentless work ethic make a difference where it matters, on the front line of care giving.

Hospital staff often see us at our most vulnerable and when we are most in need of care, today’s announcement will reassure all QA users that they are in safe hands.

I know I speak for many within the city when I convey my appreciation and thanks to QA staff for the improvements made and look forward to seeing further progress in the future”.

CQC inspected five core services and leadership at the trust. Ratings for medical care and surgery had both improved overall and are now rated good, outpatients remains rated good overall.

Catherine Campbell, CQC’s Head of Hospital Inspection for the South East said: 

“Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has made improvements since our last inspection. Overall, the trust has improved from requires improvement to good which is great news for people using these services.

Our inspectors found that the culture within the trust had improved and patients benefited from more coordinated care with local organisations. We found that care was inclusive, and staff supported people’s needs and preferences.

All the staff at Portsmouth should be proud of the positive progress that’s been made.”

Mr Morgan’s letter sent out today follows recent action taken over QA Hospital. The city MP helped to secure £58 m for the hospital trust through lobbying efforts, hosted the Shadow Health Secretary at the hospital, nominated a QA staff member for a national award during the 70th anniversary of the NHS and has spent time walking wards with staff. 

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“Education and remembrance are the only cures for hatred and bigotry” – City MP delivers powerful speech from dispatch box

Stephen Morgan MP today took to the dispatch box in the House of Commons to represent his party in the Holocaust Memorial Debate.

The speech honed in on the importance of education in tackling prejudice and specifically talked of how lessons from nearly 75 years ago are very relevant today.

The Shadow Communities Minister said:

“The immeasurable tragedy of the holocaust has darkened lives on an infinite scale. We owe it to all those who suffered brutally at the hands of the Nazis to take measures to stop this from ever happening again.

Education and remembrance are the only cures for hatred and bigotry, and it falls on all our shoulders to drum out prejudice and racism whenever we encounter it.”

Mr Morgan closed the debate, a privilege reserved for frontbench Shadow Ministers and took time to thank and mention MPs from all parties who spoke in the debate.

Addressing the chamber, Mr Morgan also spoke of his pride in Portsmouth’s Jewish community and the need for all parties in parliament to look internally to eradicate hate.

Mr Morgan said:

“Our city is privileged to have one of the oldest Jewish communities in Britain, having been established in 1746. As city MP, I have a responsibility to my friends in that community to lead from the front and make sure there is zero tolerance of any form of hate crime.

With around 300 police reported incidents of hate crime taking place each day and nearly 80% of cases not resulting in further action being taken, now more than ever we must take decisive steps to drum out this rot.

I remain committed to being a strong voice on all forms of hate crime and prejudice and I will always fight for equality, justice and fairness. “

Stephen Morgan MP’s actions in parliament are not the first in his work to combat prejudice and hatred. He has signed up to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, signed the Book of Commitment, grilled Government ministers over rises in hate crime, regularly meets with hate crime recording organisations such as CST and is hosting events in Portsmouth alongside Tell MAMA.

 

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Portsmouth’s past and present Labour MPs unite behind Keir Starmer as next leader of the Labour party

Stephen Morgan MP has been joined by Portsmouth’s past Labour MPs in supporting Keir Starmer.

Party grandees, Lord Frank Judd and Syd Rapson along with Sarah McCarthy-Fry have now all publicly declared support for the Holborn and St Pancras MP who is currently one of the frontrunners.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“In opposition, I wake up and decide what I am going to say about the issues rotting away at our society. I want to wake up and decide what I am going to do. When the Labour Party is united, radical and relevant it wins.

That is why I am supporting Keir Starmer. He is the candidate capable keeping the policy programme radical, bringing the party together and importantly, forging a path back to power.”

Former Portsmouth MP and city freeman, Syd Rapson said:

“I’m backing Keir Starmer because I believe he’s got what it takes to win. The ability to win back voters Labour lost in the last general election in places like Portsmouth North and reinvigorate those that have lost faith in the party’s ability to be formidable.”

Former Portsmouth MP, Lord Frank Judd said:

“Of what is an interesting and impressive short list, I shall be backing Keir.  His record speaks for itself.  He will bring rational and calm statesmanship to the forefront.  His commitment to justice, human rights and to fighting social injustice is outstanding.

The UK badly needs him.  He has respect across the political spectrum.”

Former Portsmouth MP, Sarah McCarthy-Fry said:

“The most vulnerable members of our communities have been let down by the Tories. Homelessness is at a record high, youth services have been heavily cut and millions are living in poverty.

We need a Leader who can win the trust of the voters and beat the Tories. We need a Labour Prime Minister in No 10. I believe Keir is best placed to make that happen “

Stephen Morgan MP hosted the Labour leader hopeful in his constituency twice since being elected representative for Portsmouth South.

Mr Starmer made the trip to Portsmouth once to understand the impact of Brexit on the city and separately to pledge his support for Mr Morgan prior to the 2019 General Election.

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Stephen Morgan MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

Today city MP Stephen Morgan signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.

This year we are marking 75 years since the liberation of the concentration camps of Europe and the end of the Second World War. At the end of the month, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, people across the globe will remember.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘Stand Together’.

After signing the Book of Commitment, the Shadow Communities Minister and Portsmouth South MP said:

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Portsmouth to reflect on the darkest times of European history. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the six million Jewish victims and also pay tribute to the survivors.

As I wrote in the memorial book on behalf of constituents, education and remembrance are the only cures for hatred and bigotry.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

“As the Holocaust moves further into history, it falls on all of us to ensure that their stories and the stories of the 6 Jewish million men, women and children brutally murdered by the Nazis, are never forgotten.

We all have a duty to remember the Holocaust and to stand up against antisemitism and hate, now more than ever.”

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City MP to host anti-islamophobia event in Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan MP has announced he is hosting a joint event with Tell MAMA, a national organisation that seeks to combat islamophobia through recording incidents of hate crime.

The event, scheduled for Saturday 25 January from 13:30 until 15:00, will take place in Mr Morgan’s constituency office at 72 Albert Road. It is a drop-in style format that will allow people to pop in and learn more about Tell MAMA’s work.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Islamophobia is up 26% and at the highest level we have seen since records began. I will not stand idly by and allow this rot to set in. Combating the problem lies in community engagement, dialogue and shows of unity.

Whether you are a taxi driver who has suffered abuse or you have witnessed hate crime while out shopping, Tell MAMA and I want to help. This event will provide an opportunity to learn more about the importance of recording hate crime and give access to the expertise of a major national organisation. Islamophobia is not a problem confined to one section of our community, we must all work to eradicate it.

Our city’s strength lies in our diversity, it is vital we both recognise and act upon this fact. The well-established Muslim community in Portsmouth are a vital asset to our city and it is only right that we stand in solidarity in the face of oppression and hate. “

Tell MAMA said:

“With hate crime on the rise and islamophobia rife, now more than ever we need ambassadors for change like Stephen Morgan taking proactive steps in their communities.

We have worked with Mr Morgan already and look forward to our continued partnership, fighting hate crime on the front line and making our communities safer and more welcoming.”

The city MP has vocally condemned hate crime in all its forms and has worked with CST from the Jewish community, started a campaign to halt hate crime committed against LGBT+ people and continues to raise the issue in parliament.

register your place at the event, please visit here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tell-mama-tickets-90128511805

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Portsmouth MP joins Shadow Defence team

Photo credit: permission given from TruffShots https://truffshots.com

 

Ahead of the election of a new Labour Leader and Leader of the Opposition it has been announced today that Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP will be stepping into a front-bench role as Shadow Minister for Defence Procurement. The appointment puts the city MP at the heart of Labour’s defence team headed up by Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith MP.

The announcement follows Mr Morgan’s record as a strong voice on defence matters in the House of Commons and previously the Public Accounts Committee specialising in concerns related to the nation’s armed forces and military capabilities. The MP has also been running a campaign in Westminster for better support for armed forces personnel past and present, including working with local organisation All Call Signs to urge the government to record veteran suicide levels.

Responding to the appointment, the new Shadow Defence Procurement Minister Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I have always been clear the Government has no higher duty than the protection of our citizens and the maintenance of national security. Yet since 2010, we have seen 5,000 Royal Navy jobs cut, 12 ships axed, 91 defence sites sold off and the lowest defence spending for 20 years.

It is only right that these brave men and women have equipment to match their capabilities. Through my work on the Public Accounts Committee, I have seen the equipment and infrastructure black hole resulting from a decade of Tory corner cutting and indifference.

I welcome the opportunity to join the Shadow Defence Team to speak up for our nation’s armed forces and to hold Government to account over their poor defence record”.

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Nia Griffith said:

“From work on veterans’ welfare to grilling government over low quality military housing, Stephen Morgan has been a steady hand on defence since he came to parliament.

I have no doubt he will be a capable and diligent addition to an already effective Shadow Defence team and look forward to working alongside him in highlighting the litany of defence errors made by this Government”.

In covering this role, Mr Morgan has added to his portfolio as Shadow Communities Minister working with Labour’s Communities and Local Government team headed by Andrew Gwynne MP. Mr Morgan replaces Wayne David MP who has stood down to focus on defence priorities in other ways in Parliament.

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“Nothing short of a crisis” –Stephen Morgan MP on the growing General Practice emergency

Stephen Morgan MP responds to national research by Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) on changes over investment, recruitment, and access to primary care.

Since 2009, the number of full-time equivalent GPs per 100,000 people has fallen year on year. All the while demand is increasing with people living longer and with multiple complex conditions.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Under this Government, we have seen General Practice partners taking on roles in surgeries drastically fall from 24,521 to 21,161 and we know that 68% of GPs in England have struggled to recruit new doctors to their practices, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Behind these troubling statistics are real stories of people waiting longer to have serious conditions diagnosed and people in pain missing out on referrals. The Government has failed.

These are affects I have seen first-hand in Portsmouth South with the imminent closure of Hanway Medical Centre. The NHS is a cornerstone of what makes this nation great. I will continue to take action so that the Government invests and improves access to local NHS services”.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)has pressed Ministers this week for the need for urgent action. It has warned that unless effective measures are put in place, more GPs will leave the profession, exacerbating the issue.

On a solution to the problem, Mr Morgan has outlined what needs to be done:

Central to solving this crisis is holding the Government to account over their actions.

We cannot allow Ministers to shirk responsibility for training, recruiting and retaining NHS staff. The responsibility lies at their feet. This means educating and training staff, which the RCGP has suggested needs to be around 5000 and making changes to the unmanageable workload of GPs.

By the end of 2020, there needs to be comprehensive Government plans to expand and improve GP services. I will be keeping a close eye on Government and doing everything in my power to ensure they reach this essential target.

I have already submitted questions directly to the Secretary of State on this matter and will not stand idly by while GPs practices, the vital lifelines in our community, are ripped out.“

The city MP has been taking action both nationally and locally on this matter through raising questions in parliament, visiting practices at risk of closure, spending time with constituents affected and putting pressure on the Secretary of State.