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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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Only Stephen Morgan can beat the Tories in Portsmouth South

Two new separate polls, one commissioned by YouGov and one by BestForBritain, have put Stephen Morgan as the clear frontrunner in Portsmouth South for the General Election in two week’s time. The polls blow the Liberal Democrats out of the water by an impressive margin in the two-way marginal seat – meaning the only way to beat the Tories again is by voting Labour.

The two polls, independently commissioned and from neutral organisations, rely on scientific data and successfully predicted both the 2017 General election and also recent by-elections.

Responding to the polls, Stephen Morgan said:

“I welcome not one, but two independent and recent polls putting me as the clear frontrunner in Portsmouth South. This only reaffirms what my team is hearing on the doorstep each day, that I am the only candidate able to beat the Tories here again.

These two separate polls were not commissioned or paid for by any party. They are based on scientific sampling by experts and are the same polls that predicted the result in the 2017 General Election and the same polls that predicted recent by-election results.

As someone born and bred in Portsmouth, I am heartened to see the community is behind me when it comes to beating the Tories again.”

These two polls differ greatly from a poll commissioned and paid for by the Liberal Democrats which was funded through private party funds. Their poll undertaken over a month ago has been widely criticised for the tiny sample size and lack of respondents from the city’s younger generation.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth people want someone who is standing up against school cuts, campaigning to get more bobbies on the beat, taking action over climate change, securing funding for QA hospital and taking action over reductions to the services we all rely on. The polling confirms that I am the only candidate that fits the bill.

I’m standing on a record of delivery, and a promise or more, always putting Portsmouth first. I hope to carry on my vital work after Thursday 12 December to ensure that Portsmouth people have a local born and bred MP standing up for our city in Parliament. “

As the only candidate who has already represented the city as an MP, Stephen Morgan has an impressive track record when it comes to standing up for his city. From lobbying to get a Naval dry facility worth £1bn to the local economy to visiting every school in his patch, he has been an active local campaigner and strong national voice.

The candidate is backed by Best for Britain, People’s Vote, Vote for a Final Say, For Our Future’s Sake and More United. Tactical voting sites supporting remain candidates are also lending their weight to Stephen Morgan’s re-election.

Details of the independent poll are as follows:

MRP, Best For Britain (November 2019)

38.5% Labour
30% Conservative
23% Liberal Democrat

MRP, YouGov (November 2019)

42% Labour
35% Tory
16% Liberal Democrat

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Labour announce major NHS pledge backed by Stephen Morgan

Labour, the party who created the NHS, has once again shown that they are the only party willing to take action to secure its future. Supported by Stephen Morgan, Labour have announced a major funding pledge for our NHS. This will include:

– £26 billion (£40 billion in cash terms) for the NHS
– More funding to tackle growing waiting lists, A&E and improve cancer care
– Raising capital investment by £15 billion to clear repair bill, transform mental health wards, more state of art equipment especially MRI & CT scanners; Extra investment for mental health services to give it biggest priority ever
– £1 billion in staff training, bringing back bursary for 28,000 extra nurses, midwives, health visitors, 5,000 extra GPs
– £1 billion boost for public health to reverse public health cuts

Stephen is no stranger to standing up for our NHS services, he said:

“Since winning in the 2017 election I made every effort to advocate on behalf of staff and patients alike.

Helping to secure £58 m of funding for QA Hospital, pounding the wards with local NHS staff, grilling Mr Johnson over medicine shortages during PMQ’s and holding to account these responsible for the NHS dental practice closures. This is my record of delivery.

I have so much more to do and so much more to give, in order to that, I need to be continue fighting Portsmouth’s corner and being a voice for our city in Parliament.”

The funding plan comes as experts warn the NHS is heading into one of the worst winters ever with hospitals already reporting ‘black alerts’ with heart-breaking scenes of patients, often elderly, languishing on trolleys.

Stephen said:

“Labour created the NHS. It is only Labour who can ensure its legacy. Following a decade of Conservative and Lib Dem Government’s wantonly hacking bits off our most cherished service, it is high time we had a party that put people above profit.

That is why I am delighted that Labour have announced a £40 bn funding injection so that we can tackle long wait times at hospitals like QA, improve cancer care and tackle issues with A&E”

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“Young people have most at stake in this election, I urge them to take control of their future and register to vote” – Stephen Morgan speaks out to urge voter registration

Stephen Morgan joins the ranks of international celebrities in promoting the latest social media “challenge”, as Labour launches Youth Manifesto with votes for 16-17 year olds and new £1 billion pledge for youth services

Stephen Morgan and Amanda Martin joined Lily Allen and MIA today by getting involved with the latest social media “challenge”, the #VoterRegChallenge.

Mr Morgan said:

“This election will shape not just the future of our city but our nation.

Brexit, climate change, funding for our NHS and Schools. This is what is at stake. For first time voters, the generation of tomorrow, this is the opportunity to directly influence the world they live in.

I urge every young person to get out, register and be part of the biggest general election this nation has faced in modern times.”

Social media users on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have been posting 15 second videos telling their followers why they’re registering to vote, before nominating three friends to do the same.

The Labour Party has published “The Future is Ours” – a manifesto for young people which will include an additional £1 billion of investment in youth services and the party’s commitment to votes at 16.

Labour has announced an additional £1 billion in annual revenue expenditure for youth services, twenty times the £50 million previously announced by the government. This will build a properly funded, professionally staffed National Youth Service, and will guarantee every young person has access to local, high-quality youth work.

Labour will double the annual capital expenditure for youth services that the government has committed to, investing an additional £250 million to build up to 500 new youth centres.

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Stephen Morgan endorsed by More United, putting the country first before party politics

Stephen Morgan has been selected by More United as an ambassador of political fair play following his consistent choice to rise above mud-slinging and reluctance to engage in tit-for-tat game playing.

The Labour candidate has the support of the campaign group, as he seeks re-election as the MP for Portsmouth South, his home constituency.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Clean honest and frank politics. That is what Portsmouth people deserve. I am glad that More United have taken into account my track record of refusing to use divisive language and backed me as a local candidate.

I am proud to be endorsed by More United, a cross-party movement making politics less extreme and less tribal. If we want to heal a divided Britain, politicians must work across party lines to come together beyond the election and put the national interest first to move the country forward.”

More United aims to crowdfund £250,000 over the course of the election and recruit a national network of volunteers who will turn out to support candidates locally. The unique model aims to elect more progressive candidates from different parties to shift the balance of parliament away from extremism and reform politics.”

Tabitha Morton, CEO of More United said:

“This election we have an ambitious plan to flood Parliament with MPs who care more about the country’s issues than party tribalism. MPs who care more about compromise than their own careers.

By coming together to back these candidates who will work to find common ground, put country above party, and raise the bar in Parliament, we can build a better politics.”

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“The generation to whom we all owe so much deserves a Government that won’t cut the benefits they rely on”- Stephen Morgan vows to carry on fight for free TV licences for over 75s

In 2017, the Conservatives stood on a manifesto that pledged not to touch benefits for the elderly. The have gone back on this promise and Government has forced through policy that saw the free TV licence snatched away from over 75s.

Prior to the Government change, Mr Morgan been engaging with thousands of Portsmouth residents about this issue. Since, he has spoken in parliamentary debates, written a joint letter with Portsmouth Pensioners to the PM, grilled Government Ministers in parliament, met with Age UK and conducted independent research. Alongside this record of delivery, Mr Morgan has pledged to do more and said he will not put down the gauntlet until he sees the vital benefit restored.

What does this mean? 1.3 million of the poorest over 75s left with another big bill to contend with. 3 million households worse off. 500,000 people living with dementia facing a new difficult bill.

Stephen Morgan said:

“It is an outrage that this Government is overseeing the scrapping of free TV licences for 3 million older people, leaving a Tory manifesto promise in tatters.

We know that around 1.3 million over-75s are eligible for Pension Credit but do not or cannot claim for the benefit. This means at least 650,000 of our poorest pensioners facing an ominous new annual bill they simply can’t afford.”

The Labour candidate who has already served 2 years as local MP has also been working with others to look into how certain more vulnerable demographics will be affected by the change.

This includes those with dementia, veterans and those who have lost cognitive brain function through injury or illness and struggle with submitting applications.

Mr Morgan said:

“As if committing a policy U-turn on benefits for over 75s wasn’t enough, we also know that of the 80% of pensioners set to lose out, over 900,000 are brave veterans who have gone above and beyond to protect this great nation.

How is the Government paying tribute to them? By leaving another hefty bill on their doorstep.

This combined with the fact that 500,000 people living with dementia facing a new difficult bill is demonstration that Conservatives really are the nasty party.”

The extensive work Mr Morgan has done for older members of the community is not limited to action on the free TV licence. He has worked hard on increasing bus routes, called for a veteran’s railcard pledged unconditional support for the winter fuel allowance and regularly meets with Portsmouth Pensioners to ensure they have a voice in parliament.

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“With 1 in 5 Portsmouth children suffering from tooth decay by the time they are 5 years old, we need urgent action”- City MP speaks out after visit to University of Portsmouth Dental Academy

Stephen Morgan MP has visited a state-of-the-art training facility developed in partnership between the University, King’s College London Dental Institute and the National Health Service in his constituency of Portsmouth South.

The visit forms part of a long-running campaign adopted by the MP to increase patient access for all to vital dental services. Mr Morgan has vocally slammed the current Government’s ‘shocking’ record on dental services that has seen 42,000 children admitted to hospital to have multiple teeth removed under anesthetic last year alone.

The city MP spent time both with students about to become the next generation of first-rate dentists and the staff who work clinically in the Dental Academy and across a wide variety of community settings.

Mr Morgan said:

“Access to dental services is vitally important and to use the British Dental Association’s words, we are in crisis.

21 million people have not seen a dentist for over 2 years, around just 50% of dental practices are able to admit new NHS patients and in Portsmouth, the number of children being admitted to hospital for tooth decay has doubled.

With the Government making real term cuts to dentistry of nearly 30% since 2010, more people are finding themselves unable to get treatment which is putting pressure on other NHS services.

It is essential that institutions like the Dental Academy are consulted and discussion begins around how to deal with this issue.”

The key issues discussed by the MP and senior representatives from the Dental Academy were orientated around securing Portsmouth as a national dentistry training hub with even greater national recognition and increasing provision of services to the local community.

Mr Morgan said:

“At a time when dentistry is in crisis, with1 in 5 Portsmouth children suffering from tooth decay by the time they are 5 years old, the work being conducted here is more important than ever.

The top-class dental academy is yet another example of how work done in Portsmouth is not just relevant to our city but to the nation.

The opportunity to spend time with those working to become top rate dentists and the experts responsible for training them gives great insight into the work being conducted here in our city.”

Patient access to dental services has been high on Mr Morgan’s agenda for some time. Earlier this year, following the closure of three dental practices in Portsmouth, Stephen called an urgent snap meeting with NHS England and The British Dental Association.

Mr Morgan said:

“This Government’s incessant will to sell off bits of our NHS and leave it in the hands of companies like Colosseum in Portsmouth, owned by a swiss investment bank, is irresponsible and puts profit before Portsmouth people.

We urgently need a coherent oral health strategy that has patients at the heart of it and is focused on access and prevention, and NHS dentistry that is adequately commissioned and funded.”

Since the crisis with Colosseum dental arose in Mr Morgan’s patch, he has been relentless in his efforts to resolve the issue and secure dental access for all. So far, he has met with senior NHS England officials, the Director of the British Dental Association, grilled the Minister responsible in parliament, written out to the new Minster last week and been out to visit the services for himself.

He remains committed to being a strong national and local voice on all NHS issues.

 

 

 

 

 

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City MP announces major community policing consultation

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

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

Mr Morgan said:

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

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

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

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

Mr Morgan said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Rallying cries of ‘’the fight will go on” resonate from standing room only WASPI event hosted by city MP

Stephen Morgan MP has hosted a heavily oversubscribed event in Portsmouth offering a platform for discussion to women affected by state pension inequality.

The greatly successful event came in the wake of news that the High Court would not rule in favour of WASPI women and consisted of the MP’s renewed declaration of support for the cause, an open discussion and a Q&A session.

Mr Morgan said:

The resilience and determination demonstrated by WASPI women is an inspiration to grass roots movements across the nation.

The high attendance, passionate discussion and innovative ideas coming from the event that I was proud to host on Saturday is a testament to the fight left in this movement.

I consider it a privilege to have hosted numerous events and parliamentary activities alongside WASPI women and will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with members until we see a positive solution to this injustice.

Some women have been forced into homelessness and destitution, others have lost up to £47,000. They have all been grossly mistreated by Government and I will continue to act as a strong voice for them in Parliament.”

The event allowed WASPI women direct access to their MP and subsequently resulted in Mr Morgan taking a number of immediate actions.

One action that arose was that many women had written to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to complain about the issue, however, they had been told they must wait for the High Court ruling before getting a response. Many of the women are still awaiting feedback.

In response to this, Mr Morgan has written out to the PHSO urging swift response and requesting a time frame for response.

In his letter, the Mr Morgan wrote:

Now that the High Court has ruled their decision, I am writing to request a date by which women affected by these state pension changes will receive a response to their letters of complaint. Please, could you (PHSO) provide this information as a matter of urgency?”

Other actions taken by the MP following the open consultation include lobbying his frontbench Labour colleagues to include clear manifesto pledges in favour of WASPI women.

Mr Morgan’s support for the WASPI cause predate his premiership as an MP and over the years has seen him speak at events, host members in parliament, meet people affected in Portsmouth and submit written questions to the Minister responsible. Mr Morgan is set to host WASPI women again on Wednesday 16 October.