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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 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

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Portsmouth MP pulls together leading minds for Electoral Reform public meeting

Stephen Morgan MP has organised a constituency-based public meeting in a bid to hear from experts and constituents’ views over fairer voting.

The city MP has pulled together a team from electoral reform organisations and will be sharing the platform with the Electoral Reform Society’s Director of Policy, Make Votes Matter and Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform at a public meeting next month. The event is open to all Portsmouth South constituents.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I want to see a voting system where every vote counts. The fact millions of people vote in ‘safe’ seats where their voice isn’t heard is an insult to our democracy. Our voting system is clearly broken.

Parliament must represent the voices of Britain, and under First Past the Post this is not being achieved.

That is why I have put together this public meeting with leading minds on the issue. I encourage all those who share this vision of a democratised voting system to come and get involved.

I would also like to thank the University of Portsmouth for hosting this event for constituents to have their say.”

The current voting system, First Past the Post, is often criticised for not being representative. 

Electoral Reform Society’s Director of Policy Jessica Garland said:

 “Westminster’s outdated voting system has left voters feeling powerless for too long. People are rightly fed up with the divisive, one-party-takes-all politics that warps results and skews our political debate. It’s time to ensure every voice is heard, with real reform and a move to Proportional Representation.

“It’s great that Stephen Morgan is promoting this vital cause. How MPs are elected makes a huge difference to what issues are heard and to trust in politics. We look forward to joining this meeting, working with Stephen and campaigners across the spectrum to build a stronger democracy.”

The well-subscribed event is set to take place Thursday 5 March 2020 at 7:30 pm at Lecture Theatre LT2 in the Richmond Building.

Places are still available to book here. Booking is essential.

 

 

 

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Portsmouth CLP backs Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner

On the Leadership, Mr Morgan said: 

“Keir Starmer knows that when Labour comes together, we are a force for radical change unlike any other. With a right-wing Government to oppose and a country to win over, there is so much at stake.

I am delighted the Portsmouth constituency party has also put their trust in Keir and voted to nominate him as the leader to unite every part of our party and our movement.

With Keir at the helm, we can all work together and unite to bring about the society we want to see and get us on the path back to power.”

On the Deputy Leadership, Mr Morgan said: 

“I am delighted that Portsmouth CLP has backed Angela Rayner for deputy leader. Her ability to bring the party together,  empower activists and fight for practical policies is precisely what Portsmouth and the Labour party need.”

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‘Government not giving flooding the priority it deserves’ says City MP after Minister cancels meeting about Portsmout

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has criticised Government after the Minister responsible for tackling flooding cancelled an important meeting about investment in Portsmouth.  The proposed meeting about Southsea sea defence scheme was cancelled with just hours to go.

The parliamentary meeting, orchestrated by Mr Morgan as part of ongoing work alongside the local authority to secure funding for the largest sea defence scheme in the country, was set to take place today with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Portsmouth City Council reps.

Previously Mr Morgan raised concerns over the priority Government is giving to the scheme as the department only offered 15 minutes for the meeting with the city MP, local authority officers and the Environment Agency.

Mr Morgan said:

“This meeting was only agreed after months of being given the run-around by Government and originally being offered a meeting of just 15 minutes. The cancellation at the last minute shows a complete lack of respect for Portsmouth.

There have been three serious coastal defence breaches in our city in the last six years, so it is little wonder the Southsea Sea Defence scheme is probably the biggest of its kind the nation has ever seen. 8,000 properties, 700 businesses and hundreds of livelihoods are depending on its success.

Following events and flooding over the last few days I share concerns that Government is not taking seriously the risk of flooding. Portsmouth has thought through plans for its sea defence scheme.

I will continue to take action so that the local authority gets the support it needs from Government and our city is given priority to protect our communities”.

The city MP has also repeatedly invited the Secretary of State to visit the city to understand the scale of the proposed scheme and need for investment, an invitation declined by the top politician in charge. The government is likely to invest in the scheme that has been developed with public consultation, but a number of important actions remain.

The last few days have reminded us all of the need for adequate funding to local authorities for flooding protection. The Environment Agency’s own analysis has revealed that national funding for this financial year (£815m) falls short of what is needed.

The meeting cancelled by the Government Minister comes amid some of the worst weather experienced in the UK for decades.  Some areas saw a month and a half’s rainfall in 24 hours and gusts of more than 90 miles per hour swept across the country.

The Prime Minister has previously committed to hosting a flood summit bringing together regional partners and stakeholders and local representatives, but to date has failed to deliver on this promise.

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City MP pledges to protect oceans

Stephen Morgan MP, who signed up to Greenpeace’s oceans pledge earlier this month, has now called on Government to support a bold Global Ocean Treaty in a number of cutting parliamentary questions.

The city MP’s parliamentary actions come amid UN discussions in New York surrounding the Global Ocean Treaty.

The continued efforts follow local actions by campaigners which the Portsmouth South representative is supporting.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Overfishing, plastic pollution, and oil drilling are gutting our oceans of life and destroying delicate ecosystems. There is no planet B and we cannot afford for complacency.

Right now, only 1% of the world’s oceans are protected. Scientists say that we need to protect at least 30% by 2030.

It falls at the feet of government to treat this issue with due priority and ensure that appropriate representation is sent to New York for discussions around the Global Ocean Treaty.”

The talks have been described as being on a knife edge – and could result in a weak treaty unable to properly protect marine life.

Mr Morgan added:

I have submitted questions directly to the Government department responsible in a bid to urge a strong UK presence at these international discussions.

To get the ambitious deal our oceans and climate need, we need senior politicians in the negotiating room who can push for a strong treaty.”

Tackling the climate emergency and being a national voice on environmental matters is a priority for the Portsmouth MP. He has been working closely with Friends of the Earth, has orchestrated constituency-based climate events, regularly speaks at climate strikes, has used the Queen’s Speech debate to raise the issue and has made repeated calls on Government to treat climate change as a top priority.

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Why Portsmouth’s past and present MP’s are throwing their weight behind Keir Starmer – Stephen Morgan MP

Labour bucked the trend in Portsmouth South. While I welcome increasing numbers of voters putting their trust in our party here to carry on delivering for Portsmouth, the national picture is bleak.

From speaking to residents on the doorstep, and colleagues in the corridors of parliament, I know from Portsmouth to Penistone Labour voters felt let down and disillusioned.

If we are to rebuild our heartlands and regain the trust of the electorate, we must be led by a prime minister in waiting with eyes well and truly focused on the future. Our next leader must be willing to pioneer the path back to power and be capable of forming a Government. Why? Because by then our most vulnerable community members will have had to endure a decade and a half of austerity.

Already we have seen a 250 % rise in the number of unsheltered homeless, 69 % spending reduction on youth services and 4 million British people living in deep poverty. In opposition, I wake up and decide what I am going to say about these issues rotting away at our society. I want to wake up and decide what I am going to do.

The survival of the Labour party may depend on the next election. If we do not have the right leader in place, this could mark the beginning of the end for Europe’s largest party.

That is why I am supporting Keir Starmer. He is the candidate capable of healing the rift, rebuilding our party as a broad church and importantly, putting a Labour PM back in Number 10.

I am not alone in my support for Mr Starmer. I stand in solidarity with Portsmouth’s Labour MPs who trod the path before me. Party Grandees Syd Rapson, Lord Frank Judd along with Sarah McCarthy-Fry have publicly stated support for the Holborn and St. Pancras MP, a testament to one of his greatest assets – the ability to unite. A much-needed quality at this time of division and adversarial politics – both inside our party and across politics.

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

There is so much at stake. The lives of millions of British people and the future of the party that, whether you are a supporter or not, has shaped modern Britain through creating the NHS, introducing the minimum wage and founding the Open University.

With Keir Starmer at the helm, Labour can get on with confronting the challenges faced by our society and begin looking to build a better tomorrow. Not just offering a radical plan but the opportunity to deliver a radical plan for Britain.  

I urge anyone who shares this vision to join Labour and unite behind him.

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“Veterans must play the lead role in commemorations”- City MP issues callout to WW2 ex-service personnel

Shadow Defence Minister, Stephen Morgan MP has issued a callout to all WW2 veterans in a bid to ensure due recognition of their feats.

Mr Morgan has joined up with The British Legion in encouraging veterans to register their attendance to events marking the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ Day, on the 8th May and 15th August.

Mr Morgan said:

“Victory in Europe Day and Victory over Japan Day will forever be milestones in the history of this nation.

As we approach the 75th anniversaries for these most significant days, it is essential that we reflect and remember the unfathomable achievements of those who sacrificed so much.

Central to that remembrance and commemoration process must be the veterans themselves. That is why I have joined the British Legion in calling on all WW2 veterans to take part in the events planned.”

Veterans can be of British, Commonwealth or Allied origin and all costs for their attendance will be met by The Royal British Legion and its partners. Registration closes for VE Day veterans on 17 February and for VJ Day veterans on 31 March.

Mr Morgan added:

“With the recent success of D-Day 75, that I am proud to say took place in Portsmouth, it has been made clear that veterans must play the lead role.

I commend The British Legion in working towards ensuring VE and VJ Day commemorations follow suit and look forward to joining others on the 8th May and 15th August in reflecting and remembering. “

Veterans can be of British, Commonwealth or Allied origin and all costs for their attendance will be met by The Royal British Legion and its partners.

Further information can be found here https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/remembrance-events

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City MP backs constituent unfairly dismissed while pregnant

Following correspondence with constituent Helen Larkin, Stephen Morgan MP has taken firm action to highlight the unfair treatment of pregnant women in the workplace.

Ms. Larkin raised her case with Mr Morgan in January 2020 following her unfair dismissal from The Liz Earle Beauty Company while she was eight months pregnant.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Ms Larkin’s case highlights gaps in the support network offered to pregnant women undergoing an employment tribunal. It is imperative that structures are in place that prevent discrimination of any kind and take into account the personal situations of employees, especially when pregnant or during maternity periods.

It is Government’s responsibility to look after its citizens, if this is the way that pregnant women are being treated, it is clear that improvements must be made.”

Upon hearing about the case and with the support of women’s rights group, Pregnant then Screwed, Mr Morgan took immediate action in parliament.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“In order to highlight Government’s failings and urge action, I have submitted parliamentary questions and written directly to the Secretary of State responsible.

Government must change the law to give pregnant women extended time for employment tribunals, urgently reassess the law when it comes to making pregnant women redundant and come up with a strategy for urgent reform of current processes.

I will continue to apply pressure until justice for Helen and others is seen.”

Olga Fitzroy from Pregnant then Screwed said:

“We have long campaigned against pregnancy and maternity discrimination and strived to support women like Helen who have been treated badly by exploitative employers.

The government must step up and extend the time limits that new mums and pregnant women have to bring a tribunal claim, as the current rule of 3 months is inhumane and can damage mothers and babies mental and physical health.

We are delighted to have the support of Stephen Morgan MP and look forward to continuing to work with him in highlighting where change needs to occur.”

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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.”