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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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“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.

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City MP delivers cutting scrutiny of Government’s children’s care record from dispatch box

Shadow Communities Minister, Stephen Morgan MP, has grilled the Housing and Communities Secretary over the soaring numbers of children in care being housed in illegal or unregulated care homes.

Mr Morgan’s action in parliament from the front-benches follows official figures revealing at least 23 local authorities over a three-month period handed children over to care providers deemed ‘unsuitable’ and falling far short of the mark. These providers had not been assessed by Ofsted.

The Shadow Minister said:

“This Government’s reckless neglect and cuts to local authorities coupled with soaring rates of young people requiring care is putting unprecedented strain on the system.

More and more vulnerable young people being housed in illegal, unsuitable or inadequate housing miles away from their schools and friends.

With local authorities having 60 pence out of every pound slashed from their budgets and 20,000 more young people in care since the Tories came to power, the responsibility inextricably lies at the feet of Government.”

Research conducted by The Guardian found the number of times children were housed in unregulated accommodation – which means they faced no checks by Ofsted, which typically inspects homes – rose by 22% between 2016-17 and 2018-19.

The number of times children were placed in unregistered homes rose from 129 to 212 in the same period.

Stephen Morgan MP added:

The police, charities and children’s commissioner have issued stark warnings that the current situation is leaving children in our communities open to exploitation from predators and drug gangs.

One child being in an unregulated care placement is an outrage, the current situation is a stain on our society.

I am a firm believer that a society is judged by the way in which vulnerable people are supported, by that criteria the Government is catastrophically failing. I will be using my position on the front benches to hold them to account over their shoddy record.”

Despite joining the front benches back in July, this is the first time Stephen Morgan MP has had the opportunity to speak at the Dispatch Box.

The government has canceled two sets of Housing, Communities and Local Government questions along with two debates on children’s services; this has prompted criticism from MPs and organisations over their attitudes to the current crisis in the sector.

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City MP turns words into action at standing room only climate event in Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan MP this weekend hosted a climate change event at a city venue sharing ideas on how to improve Portsmouth’s approach to tackling the environmental crisis.

The event, which was attended by around 90 people and was standing room only, was orchestrated by Stephen Morgan MP who shared the stage with Oxford City Council’s Cabinet Member for a zero carbon Oxford, Cllr Tom Hayes.

Mr Morgan said:

“Local authorities are on the front line when it comes to tackling the climate emergency. With time running out and crisis point already reached, addressing this issue will remain a top priority for me.

Oxford are trailblazers when it comes to going green at local authority level. The reason I hosted Cllr Hayes here is so that we in Portsmouth can capture what works and help replicate it.

Today was the first of a series of events and ideas I’m planning in 2020 that will help spread change in our city. Success is built upon shared ideas and learning from others, I will lead from the front when it comes to making the changes our communities need.”

The city MP’s work comes at a crucial time. Portsmouth City Council is ranked as one of the lowest for recycling rates, is in the midst of an air pollution crisis described as ‘dangerous’ by the British Heart Foundation and has a low Friends of the Earth Green rating.

The city MP said:

“Portsmouth City Council can do better. Rather than simply highlighting their failings, I will create opportunities for improvement.

Oxford has a commendable record of encouraging green business models, introducing the world’s first Zero Emission Zone from 2020 and has proliferated the use of electric vehicles by introducing widespread charging points. These are changes made at local authority level that we can match.

Portsmouth people are makers and doers, I have every faith that in the future we can be a flagship green city leading from the front. I will do everything in my power to reach that goal.”

Stephen Morgan is no stranger to climate change action. He has consistently voted in favour of legislation in parliament, lead the Labour group to declaring an emergency locally, has spoken out in Queens Speech debates, hosted roundtable meetings in Portsmouth, launched a tree planting scheme and taken countless other measures.

 

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City MP takes further action as patient access to GP services hits crisis point

In the latest of a string of measures taken over local GP access in Portsmouth, Stephen Morgan MP has written a stinging letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care urging action over the imminent closure of Hanway Medical Centre.

Hanway Medical Centre in Buckland is set to merge with the Portsdown Group Practice which could leave many within the Charles Dickens area of the city without local access to vital NHS services.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Charles Dickens, in the heart of our city, deserves better than to lose one of its vital GP services.

Today, as part of wider efforts to preserve Hanway Medical Centre, I have written to the Health Secretary to demand urgent measures are taken by Government.

This is a crisis of their own making and I will not stand idly by while Portsmouth people are left without access to essential services.”

The practice which currently provides services for over 14,000 people in Portsmouth, has been put at risk due to issues with recruitment at partner level.

For some time, Mr Morgan has been taking action to highlight local problems with access to NHS services.

The Portsmouth South representative said:

“I have written to the Clinical Commissioning Group outlining the importance of the practice, submitted a Freedom of Information request in a bid to get to the bottom of the issue, raised parliamentary written questions directly with the Health Department, met with those affected, held discussions with the pharmacy in close proximity and now I have written to the Secretary of State.

My support for equal and fair access to medical services is unwavering. I will continue to take action both locally and nationally in Westminster as long members of our community’s access to services hangs in the balance.”

As well as raising these matters directly with the Secretary of State and other bodies, Mr Morgan has written out to hundreds of affected residents seeking their views and concerns on the matter. The city MP has urged those affected to get in contact and share their experiences so that they can have a voice in future discussions.

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Labour leadership race: City MP throws weight behind candidates

Ahead of the Labour Leadership election, Stephen Morgan MP has called for a leader capable of bringing the party together to ‘build a path back to power’.

The newly re-elected Portsmouth South MP nominated candidates in both the Leadership and Deputy Leadership race. Mr Morgan cited the need for ‘raising the game’ and a necessity for bringing the party together in order to win an election again as the rationale for backing the two candidates.

On Leader of the Labour Party, Stephen Morgan said:

“Currently, I wake up and think about what I am going to say. I want to wake up and decide what I am going to do. How do we achieve this? By Labour being in Government.

I believe the candidate most capable of delivering that result is Keir Starmer. His steadfast conviction to achieve a less divided country coupled with the time he spent here in Portsmouth confirm him as the candidate best placed to secure a better future for Britain.

Another future is possible but to achieve It we need a leader capable of being a force for good and force for change. From what I have seen of Keir’s work, both in Parliament and when fighting major human rights battles, he is best placed to build a path back to power and unify the Labour movement.”

On Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Stephen Morgan said:

“The Labour Party’s foundations lie in the pursuit of fairness, equality and justice. It is essential the modern Labour Party reflects these ideals.

For too long, much like in our city of Portsmouth, members of communities in the north have been neglected and forgotten. I believe it essential we have a Deputy Leader possessing the tenacity and clout to put an end to this tradition.

Angela Rayner, a veteran representative of communities in Greater Manchester, most certainly fits the bill. Having worked with her in her capacity as Shadow Education Secretary while I have been standing up for Portsmouth Schools, there is no doubt in my mind that she would excel in being a voice for those often underrepresented. “

Labour’s new leader, and deputy leader, will be announced on 4 April.

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City MP Stephen Morgan has launched a Christmas appeal in support of St Swithun’s homeless mission

Reliant on donations from the public, the Southsea church is running a project to help vulnerable people by providing hot meals, support and essential goods.

Following a visit to the project a few weeks ago, the re-elected Portsmouth South MP and Shadow Communities Minister has done a call out on social media requesting constituents donate men’s gloves, warm socks and razors with shaving foam to help the homeless in Portsmouth this Christmas.

Residents, local groups and businesses are encouraged to drop off these items only to the MP’s constituency office this Friday or Monday. Speaking at the appeal,

Stephen Morgan MP said

“An estimated 280,000 homeless people will be sleeping rough or living in temporary housing and hostels on Christmas Day.

According to Shelter, that’s about one in every 200 of the total population. Behind these statistics are real people and this crisis should shame us all.

As Portsmouth South’s MP, I will continue to press the new government to confront this huge challenge and do something radical to implement.

In Southsea, St Swithun’s tireless work has been going under the radar, with volunteers donating hundreds of hours helping those in need. I urge constituents to do their bit by giving a little and helping this appeal this Christmas”.

The office is open for donations Friday and Monday 9-5pm at 72 Albert Road, Southsea PO5 2SL

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Stephen Morgan speaks up for social care as Government sets out agenda for the year

Portsmouth South’s MP Stephen Morgan, along with other representatives, today observed Her Majesty the Queen’s speech setting out the Government’s plan for the year.

As Shadow Communities Minister, Mr Morgan has singled out social care as an area that requires urgent attention, joining experts such as the Kings Fund in suggesting today’s commitments do not go far enough.

Mr Morgan said:

“It is telling that Mr Johnson chose not to mention Social Care in his victory speech last week. The proposals mentioned today are a mere drop in the ocean in comparison with what is needed.

When 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 we need to see change.

The Government has dragged their heels, resulting in a social care system at crisis point. As Shadow Communities Minister, I will be applying the highest level of scrutiny to ensure that the Government faces the scale of the crisis at hand.

The more time wasted, the more our most vulnerable community members will suffer.”

A senior Government Minister was also forced to admit that her party’s manifesto did not include costed plans for social care reform, but only interim extra funding of £1 billion a year to fund the system in England.

The King’s Fund has said that this extra funding “is not enough to meet rising demand for care while maintaining the current quality and accessibility of services”.

Shadow Communities Minister, Stephen Morgan MP added:

“For more than two years, the Government has been promising to publish the social care green paper, which would lay out plans for addressing the adult social care funding crisis.

During the election period, Disability News Service reported that a senior Government minister admitted the Green Paper did not even exist. How are we meant to address this crisis when the can is constantly kicked down the road?

The Conservatives view the crisis in social care with utter contempt and it is people in our communities paying the price.

The Government should now stop the delay in delivering the long-term solution for social care, which secures these vital services for the future. “

Mr Morgan’s comments follow a September report highlighting how many big care providers have developed highly complex corporate structures involving offshore tax havens. Many claim this puts profit over people and sucks money out of the system.

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Stephen Morgan delivers on commitment to work with More United in achieving a politics of “hope and compassion”

Stephen Morgan, sworn in as MP for Portsmouth South yesterday, in one of his first acts as MP met with cross-party colleagues in a bid to work towards a more compassionate political landscape.

More United, which has over 150,000 members and is working with 62 MPs from six parties, backed Stephen Morgan in the 2019 General Election. They seek to provide a network of MPs working together to tackle issues like homelessness, the social care crisis, mental health support and the climate emergency.

Stephen Morgan said:

“In my acceptance speech last Friday, I pledged to work with others regardless of party to tackle the major issues blighting our society. This is what Portsmouth people deserve and this is what I intend to do.

Our country is deeply divided and what we need to see is co-operation and unity in the face of adversity. Today, I met with other likeminded MPs to discuss how we tackle together issues such as homelessness, climate change and improving mental health care provision.

I look forward to continuing to work with others to ensure that we have honest, frank politics and that the priority of MPs is always serving the interests of their constituents”.

The meeting that took place today in parliament saw around 40 MPs come together.  The purpose was to set out the agenda for the year to come and to encourage attendees to spread the word about the importance of cross-party discussion.

Stephen Morgan MP received backing from More United due to his running of a clean and honest campaign, a pledge he is standing by now that he has been re-elected to parliament.

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Stephen Morgan increases majority as Portsmouth South bucks national trend

MP Stephen Morgan received 23,086 votes, more than trebling the majority, representing a 7.6% increase on the 2017 election to 48.6% at Thursday’s General Election.

This puts the victory in Portsmouth South as amongst Labour’s top 3 in the nation and ranks the city representative as number one in terms of numerical Labour swing across the country in the 2019 election.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“My greatest honour was being elected to represent this city, the city where everyone I love lives, in 2017.

Portsmouth people have reaffirmed their faith in my ability to deliver, motivating me even more to fight our city’s corner.

I would like to say a huge thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who helped me run a positive campaign across every community and to all those who put their trust in me again on Thursday.

I look forward to continuing to demonstrate my commitment to every person and every community in Portsmouth South and taking a stand for our city in Parliament.”

In 2017 Mr Morgan made history by becoming the first ever Labour MP for Portsmouth South in the snap election, recording an increase in the share of the vote of 21.5%.

On the results nationally, Stephen Morgan said:

“It is with real mixed emotion, that I reflect on the results across the country. Our party’s biggest defeat since the 1930s, losing in some of our historic heartlands and communities that so desperately need a Labour government the most.

These results are not only extremely disappointing, they will also have consequences for the future of our country and the most vulnerable in our society.

I vow to provide the strongest possible opposition in parliament to Mr Johnson’s government and vow to seek to unite the whole country for change”.

The result in Portsmouth South ensured the highest share of vote since Bonner Pink (Con) in 1983 (50%). The Lib Dem result was the lowest vote share for a Liberal party since 1918.

Parliament is set to return on Tuesday when Mr Morgan will be sworn in again.