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Keir Starmer joins Stephen Morgan in backing Portsmouth’s green initiatives

Stephen Morgan MP hosted Labour leadership front-runner Keir Starmer in Portsmouth to broadcast the benefits of active travel in tackling climate change.

Joined by senior Brompton representatives, the two parliamentarians spent time at the Cycle Hire Hub at Portsmouth Harbour Station.

The current air pollution crisis in Portsmouth, need for more government investment in active travel infrastructure, and Labour’s plan for a greener future were discussed.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Key to tackling climate change is ensuring people have the tools to make changes to their everyday routine. Active travel is a major part of that.

In Portsmouth we face some of the worst air pollution rates in the country. Children choking on fumes is not what this city deserves.

That is why I support Brompton’s Cycle Hire Hub, which makes green commuting easier and takes polluting vehicles off our roads.

Keir’s support for this initiative coupled with his pledge to put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything Labour does, secure him as the only Labour candidate able to bring radical solutions to the climate problem.”

Keir Starmer MP said:

“The recent extreme weather is further evidence that we are living through a climate emergency.

“It is fantastic that Stephen has shown leadership in Portsmouth on this issue by backing Brompton’s bike scheme, organising community events and leading the charge to declaring a climate emergency in the city.

“If elected Labour leader, I would support a Green New Deal and also a Clean Air Act – to ensure that dangerous levels of air pollution are tackled.”

Julian Scriven, Managing Director of Brompton Bike Hire said:

“Brompton is committed  to changing the way people move around cities. We are delighted that both Stephen Morgan MP and Sir Kier Starmer MP share this vision and are demonstrating a real drive at both a local and national level to promote active travel”.

Stephen Morgan MP has a record of delivery when it comes to tackling climate change. From leading the Labour Group locally in declaring a climate emergency and orchestrating major Portsmouth events to voting in favour of legislation In the House of Commons, he has shown leadership from Portsmouth to parliament.

 Keir Starmer and the city MP were joined by a number of Labour councillors and campaigners for more ambitious action by the council to tackle the climate crisis.

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Hundreds flock to Keir Starmer rally hosted by Stephen Morgan MP

Over 400 attendees have travelled to Portsmouth from across the south coast to hear the Labour leadership contender Keir Starmer MP at event hosted by a Portsmouth Labour and Stephen Morgan MP.

The rally set out the leadership frontrunner’s plan for bringing the party together and forging the path back to power and retuning a Labour government. 

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“It is evident from today’s well attended, standing room only event that there is desire in the Labour party to unite and come together.

Keir Starmer has the skills and experience the party needs right now. His ability to keep the policy programme radical, unite our movement, and forge the path back to power is what people in our area told him today.

It was a real pleasure to have hosted Keir for the third time in our city and share the stage with inspiring Portsmouth people who share his vision for a better future for Britain.”

Keir Starmer said:

“It is fantastic to have the support of so many people here in Portsmouth. Stephen Morgan is a great local MP, fighting for the city day in day out and I am honoured to have his backing to be Labour leader.

It has been a great day visiting members here in Portsmouth, talking to them about how we can unite our party and win the next election.

Whatever the outcome of this contest, I look forward to coming back to Portsmouth in the coming months and beginning the campaign for the local elections.”

The parliamentarians shared the stage with Paula Savage and Portsmouth FC’s, Christian Burgess, who all set out why they are backing Keir.

Portsmouth FC’s Christian Burgess, said:

“Keir’s vision for a fairer, more just society combined with his ability to be formidable and provide forensic opposition to the Tories is why he has my full support.

He has a track record of being a voice for those often denied and bringing people together. This is exactly what the nation needs.”

This is the third time Mr Morgan has hosted the bookies’ favourite next Labour leader. Stephen Morgan MP declared his support for Keir Starmer’s campaign early-on and has been campaigning locally and nationally for the candidate’s election.

Former MPs city Frank Judd, Syd Rapson and Sarah McCarthy-Fry have also backed Mr Starmer.

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“Education is key to tackling climate change” says city MP as he joins students in Parliament for Teach the Future

Stephen Morgan MP joined a parliamentary climate change event alongside students from across the country, including Portsmouth.

The city MP today attended Teach the Future, a parliamentary campaign seeking to urgently reform the education system to focus further on climate change.

Mr Morgan said:

“I believe that we need to ensure that the education system is at the heart of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change, so the next generation can lead society to safety.

That is why for some time I have been campaigning alongside local activists, XR, Friends of the Earth and youth movements to put pressure on government to act.

We have already seen leadership from youth movements across the nation and it is now time government matched this commitment. As we draw nearer to the UK hosted COP26, the need could not be greater for government action.”

This is not the first time Stephen Morgan MP has taken action to promote the need for educational reform. In 2019, the city MP wrote a targeted letter to the Education Secretary demanding climate change be considered a core subject. A request refused by the Conservative government.

The city MP said:

“If we do not undertake a major structural overhaul of our education system, we are clipping the wings of future generations ability to tackle the world’s greatest issue.

75% of teachers surveyed by teach the future say they feel they have not received adequate climate change training. 4% of students say they feel they know enough about the issue. Cleary government needs to make changes.

That is why I remain committed to applying pressure and scrutiny to all government decision making on this matter and will continue to fight for increased education on our environment in schools.”

The city MP has been a climate ambassador both in Portsmouth and parliament. He has worked alongside XR and Friends of the Earth, played a crucial role in the declaration of a climate change emergency locally and nationally, has applied scrutiny to government decision making and continues to organise major community. 

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City MP holds Government Minister to account over environmental impacts of AQUIND

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has continued to help those objecting to the AQUIND application and taken action over environmental concerns surrounding the government backed infrastructure project in Portsmouth.

AQUIND Interconnector, an electric power transmission linking the UK to mainland Europe, has the potential to damage endangered wildlife near Milton Common and the surrounding areas of Portsmouth say constituents.

Mr Morgan said:

“In Portsmouth we are proud of the wildlife that thrives because of the wetlands and proximity to the sea. It is essential that these endangered species are safeguarded.

The Government supported initiative AQUIND could result in digging up areas near Milton Common, which hosts much of this teaming wildlife.

I share concerns about this infrastructure project and am supporting those objecting to it. I believe the proposals should have been determined by the relevant local planning authorities such as our city council but sadly the Government has decided that the proposal should be determined by the Secretary of State through the Development Consent Order process.

That is why I have today written to the Environment Secretary urging commitments to safeguard our endangered species and demanding regular and continued assessment of damage. The Government must now answer these specific questions of concern and be held to account over these proposals. I will continue to take action and be the a strong voice for Portsmouth over these plans which affect so many communities in our city and risking Portsmouth’s environment.”

The city MP has written to the Environment Secretary demanding answers. The action follows raising parliamentary questions, meetings with residents, attending open consultations and relaying concerns to AQUIND directly. The Portsmouth South representative has welcomed efforts by council officers to inform the public about the proposed plans so that resident views can be heard.

Stephen Morgan MP added:

“Our natural habitats are already under immense strain due to climate change. This means that we must take extra precautions to safeguard our wildlife and look at every infrastructure project through an environmental lens.

So far government has not shown leadership on the climate emergency. I will continue to apply to scrutiny to all decision making to ensure climate change is at the heart of discussion.”

This action is the first in a string of actions taken by the city MP over the AQUIND infrastructure project. Stephen Morgan has raised the issue through parliamentary questions, met with residents and spoken to the organisation over issues raised by constituents.

AQUIND Interconnector is a subsea and underground High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) electric power transmission link between the South Coast of England and Normandy in France. The Planning Inspectorate will hold an independent examination into the proposals, which is a form of a public inquiry. For more information visit https://interconnectorportsmouth.co.uk/

A copy of the letter can be seen here: GE DEFRA 25 2 NS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Labour in power: the progress made by Labour led local authorities

It has been a decade since a Labour PM occupied Number 10, it is likely to be another 5 before there is a chance to change that.

While the national picture is bleak, Labour are in power all over the country making changes where it matters. The often-unsung improvements, initiated by Labour councillors, need to be recognised to both share best practice and acknowledge the intrinsic role that local government will play in the path back to power.

Over 50% of the population in England and Wales live under a Labour Council or Labour Metro Mayor, with nearly 7,000 Labour councillors implementing innovative ideas with both hands tied behind their back. Without these community representatives willing to step up and shield our communities from the onslaught of Conservative cuts, many would be worse off.

Since 2010, the Conservatives have incessantly hacked bits of local authority services and slashed 60 pence out of every pound they previously received from central Government. What does this mean for the every day lives of British people? 900 vulnerable people a day being refused adult social care, a 165% increase in rough sleeping since 2010, and a 30% rise in the number of classrooms with 31 or more pupils.

With Tory austerity ripping apart communities and depriving councils of cash, cutting-edge Labour led councils are making a difference to people’s lives at the coalface.

While the pioneering achievements of Labour-lead councils’ number in their hundreds, which can be confirmed by a short look at LGA Labour’s 100 more innovations, the positive changes made to social care are particularly inspiring. Whether considering Kirklees Council’s housing policy that gives weight to care leavers or Blackpool’s trailblazing Health and Social Care Academy, the positive impact Labour councils are having on peoples’ lives in undeniable.

And all this in the midst of a crisis. Nearly £8bn has been taken from council budgets for social care since 2010, there are 1 million people not getting the care they need, and 87 people are dying a day waiting for care. It is not an understatement to say the changes made at local authority level can be lifesaving.

Positive strides have also been made to tackle the nation-wide housing crisis. Labour led councils have set the precedent in areas like South Tyneside through administering bespoke accommodation for ex-service personnel; and in Cambridge where Street Aid allows residents to donate to homeless people without any one being forced into a demeaning position. 

It is important that these innovations are shared with neighbouring local authorities if we are to showcase Labour’s grassroots ability. That is why, in my capacity as Shadow Communities Minister, I have been getting out to Labour run councils who are spearheading change and organising cross-regional idea sharing events. Key to building on Labour’s success at Local Government level will be demonstrating the innovation to those in non-Labour run areas.

With polls suggesting that public trust in local authority representatives is around 66% higher than their parliamentary counterparts, there are clear lessons to be learnt if we are to forge a path back to power. Truly empowered and independent local government offers the next Labour administration a meaningful, accountable, and democratic return to power. This opportunity must be seized.

Local authority provided services, often the lifelines we all rely on when most in need, touch the lives of thousands. From giving children and young people the best start in life to looking after older community members in need, they offer cradle to grave support. Labour’s initiatives, against all the odds, are fighting back against Tory austerity and winning. This innovative spirit will be key to securing the next Labour government and it would be a mistake to underestimate the significance of labour led local authorities.

 

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“I will continue to stand up for Charles Dickens residents from the green benches of Westminster” vows city MP as it’s announced he’s not re-standing as a councillor

Portsmouth Labour has today announced that Charles Dickens ward councillor and group leader Stephen Morgan MP will not be re-standing as a councillor at the next local elections.

After winning the Charles Dickens seat, Cllr Morgan became the party’s group leader on the council in September of that year. Under his watch, the group has jumped from 2 to 6 councillors winning in wards the party has never secured before.

The inner city ward is one of the most deprived in the community with high levels of child poverty, a significant student population, and the city centre and Naval Base. Cllr Morgan beat a Lib Dem of 12 years standing on the council to take the seat for Labour in May 2016. 

With Morgan’s leadership, the group has been opposing Tory and Lib Dem cuts to local services, encouraging investment in neighbourhoods and our high streets and led the charge to declare a climate emergency.

 

 

Confirming the news today Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Having the huge opportunity to serve as a councillor for Charles Dickens ward, in the city I love, with some great characters, inspirational residents and fantastic community spirit, has been one of the greatest honours of my life. There are many moments over the four years I will always cherish.

If you go into public service I believe you should always see it through. That is why I wanted to serve the full term as a ward councillor and do my best for all residents, at all times, even with the privilege of being elected as their MP.

As my term of office ends, I have not sought re-selection on the council as a local councillor. I am delighted that Kirsty Mellor has been chosen as Labour’s candidate in the forthcoming elections this May. 

As a local resident, Kirsty’s passionate defence of domestic abuse services and dedication to fighting welfare cuts, means she’s well placed to carry on the campaign work I’ve been doing to improve life chances for all residents in this special part of Portsmouth.

With all the challenges the area faces – the lack of affordable housing, our city centre neglected and families struggling to make ends meet – I look forward to working alongside Kirsty, Cllr Cal Corkery and other local residents to continue to stand up for Charles Dickens residents from the green benches of Westminster”.

This May a third of council seats are up for election. Portsmouth Labour hope to make further council gains following the General Election result which saw Portsmouth South securing the largest increase in Labour’s share of the vote in the country, more than tripling Stephen Morgan’s majority and the Lib Dems recording their worst election result since 1918.

Portsmouth MP to welcome Keir Starmer at regional rally

 

 

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, is to host the Labour leadership contender at a rally in the city next week

 

Keir Starmer, who has been nominated by Portsmouth Labour Party and backed by the city’s Labour MP, is to have a stop off on the campaign trail in the south east to speak at a specially convened rally for members and supporters on Saturday 29 February.

 

Starmer’s visit to Portsmouth will be the third in recent years, coming to the city to listen to local business concerns over Brexit and in late November supporting the Portsmouth South MP in his reelection.

 

Promoting the forthcoming event supporters along the south coast, Stephen Morgan MP and Shadow Communities Minister said:

 

“When Labour is united, radical and relevant it wins. And look what we have delivered in Government: the NHS, real investment in our public services, the Equal Pay Act and peace in Northern Ireland. Now is the time work together to oppose the damage Mr Johnson’s government will do to our communities and win the country over. 

 

Portsmouth Labour believes Keir will unite every part of our party and our movement. I am delighted he is coming to our city to address supporters and members. 

 

I hope as many people across the region attend to hear what he has to say”.

 

The Labour leadership contender has visited every part of the UK since he launched his leadership campaign.

 

To join Keir, Stephen and special guests you will need to book a place at the rally. To confirm you’re coming along visit: https://events.keirstarmer.com/events/portsmouth-gotv-rally

 

 

 

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City MP urges Portsmouth people to photograph and pick up plastic

 

Stephen Morgan MP praises local team behind innovative app and encourages Portsmouth people to take part.

Jetsam, developed by Company of Makers, Maker’s Guild and Hack Pompey, was officially launched last week at the Festival of the Sea. The app aims to up the city’s game in ending single-use plastics in Portsmouth.

Photos of plastic are taken by users of the app to show where most waste is in the city alongside other data, help predict where it will wash up along the city’s shoreline, and prevent further pollution of our environment.

The city MP, who has downloaded the app in support of efforts by others, is calling on more Portsmouth people to get involved, to download the app and help the war against plastic.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Storms Ciara and Dennis battering our shores over recent days have reminded us all of the plastic pollution which blights our oceans and our shoreline.

We are lucky enough in our city to have dedicated teams of beach clean volunteers but the root cause and ultimately the real solution lies with the producers of plastics. That’s why I am continuing to call on the government to stop plastic getting into our seas in the first place and want manufacturers to make sure pointless plastics aren’t produced.

The Jetsam app helps raise awareness in our community about the need to drastically cut single-use waste and reminds everyone there’s something each and every one of us can do to clean up our environment. We can’t just forget about plastic once it’s rehidden in the ocean.

I often describe Portsmouth as a place for makers and doers. I want to thank Steve Bomford and team for coming up with this initiative idea and making this app. With Jetsam, people in our city have the opportunity to do their bit, and bring about positive change”.

The free app is available to anyone to download and use on their mobile device.

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City MP calls on employers to tackle workplace sexual harassment

 

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, is calling on the government to take immediate action to end sexual harassment in the workplace.

Despite it being 10 years since the Equality Act, TUC research shows that half of all women and two thirds of LGBT+ workers have been sexually harassed at work.

The existing laws rely on individuals reporting sexual harassment, however the TUC has found four out of five people still don’t feel able to tell their employer about it.

There is currently no legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Stephen Morgan MP is pressing the government to ensure the new Employment Bill requires employers to take reasonable steps to protect workers from sexual harassment and victimisation, including setting up an independent regulator, and asking constituents to join them by signing a TUC petition.

The Portsmouth South representative is also calling on employers to work with their local trade unions and review their workplace policies to stamp out sexual harassment at work, provide proper training for staff.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“All workers in Portsmouth should feel safe in their working environment and free from sexual harassment. But research shows that it is still a huge problem, affecting millions of people across the UK.

The current legislation is clearly not working. We need to stand together to press the Government to do everything it can to make it stop.

I urge all my constituents to join me in showing support for change and consider signing this important petition.”

Rachael Maskell MP, Labour’s Shadow Employment Rights Secretary, said:

“In 2020 far too many people are still being subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace and the current legislation simply isn’t working.

The new Employment Bill is the perfect opportunity for the government to tackle this and ensure that the law provides greater protection from harassment at work.

We’re asking people to sign the petition and help us make sure the UK is a safe and positive place for us all to work.”

Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, said:

“More than half of women in the UK have experienced sexual harassment at work. That is not right.

Sexual harassment has a huge impact on victims’ careers and lives. But the government is dragging its feet and is not making the legal changes needed to fix the problem.

We are calling for a change to the law so that responsibility for preventing harassment at work sits with employers, not victims. This would shift the burden of tackling sexual harassment away from those who suffer it. And it would help end toxic workplace cultures that silence those who’ve been harassed.

Unions have been leading the way in tackling sexual harassment. Anyone experiencing sexual harassment at work should join a union to make sure they are protected and respected at work.

The petition can be found here: https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/uk-gov-act-to-prevent-sexual-harassment-at-work

 

 

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City MP calls on Government to tackle sexual harassment at work

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, is calling on the government to take immediate action to end sexual harassment in the workplace.

Despite it being 10 years since the Equality Act, TUC research shows that half of all women and two thirds of LGBT+ workers have been sexually harassed at work.

The existing laws rely on individuals reporting sexual harassment, however the TUC has found four out of five people still don’t feel able to tell their employer about it.

There is currently no legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Stephen Morgan MP is pressing the government to ensure the new Employment Bill requires employers to take reasonable steps to protect workers from sexual harassment and victimisation, including setting up an independent regulator, and asking constituents to join them by signing a TUC petition.

The Portsmouth South representative is also calling on employers to work with their local trade unions and review their workplace policies to stamp out sexual harassment at work, provide proper training for staff.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“All workers in Portsmouth should feel safe in their working environment and free from sexual harassment. But research shows that it is still a huge problem, affecting millions of people across the UK.

The current legislation is clearly not working. We need to stand together to press the Government to do everything it can to make it stop.

I urge all my constituents to join me in showing support for change and consider signing this important petition.”

Rachael Maskell MP, Labour’s Shadow Employment Rights Secretary, said:

“In 2020 far too many people are still being subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace and the current legislation simply isn’t working.

The new Employment Bill is the perfect opportunity for the government to tackle this and ensure that the law provides greater protection from harassment at work.

We’re asking people to sign the petition and help us make sure the UK is a safe and positive place for us all to work.”

Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, said:

“More than half of women in the UK have experienced sexual harassment at work. That is not right.

Sexual harassment has a huge impact on victims’ careers and lives. But the government is dragging its feet and is not making the legal changes needed to fix the problem.

We are calling for a change to the law so that responsibility for preventing harassment at work sits with employers, not victims. This would shift the burden of tackling sexual harassment away from those who suffer it. And it would help end toxic workplace cultures that silence those who’ve been harassed.

Unions have been leading the way in tackling sexual harassment. Anyone experiencing sexual harassment at work should join a union to make sure they are protected and respected at work.

The petition can be found here: https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/uk-gov-act-to-prevent-sexual-harassment-at-work