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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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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.

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Keir Starmer backs Stephen Morgan’s re-election

Stephen Morgan has received the backing of the Shadow Brexit Secretary following his recent visit to Portsmouth discussing Britain’s future in the European Union.

The Labour candidate recently held a rally where Sir Keir Starmer was the keynote speaker. The event saw over 150 people attend and was standing room only. The rally follows the backing of Stephen Morgan by Best for Britain, the People’s Vote, For Our Future’s Sake and Vote for a Final Say all lending their hand to Morgan’s re-election.

Four consecutive independent polls put the Lib Dem candidate for Portsmouth South trailing in the hotly contested constituency with as little as 11% expected share of the vote.

Keir Starmer said:

“In Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth people have a proven parliamentarian with a track record of standing up for his community.

We are facing uncertain times where the effects of decisions made in parliament will define the futures for generations to come.

It is essential that we have representatives who are committed, capable and willing to work for their communities. Stephen Morgan is the only candidate who fits the bill in Portsmouth South.

I hope to continue working with Stephen after tomorrow’s General Election”

To view the tactical voting recommendations for Portsmouth South visit: https://tactical.vote/portsmouth-south

Stephen Morgan said:

“People want to get Brexit sorted. On the doorstep In Portsmouth we’ve been hearing more and more support for Labour’s solution to this divisive issue by putting the issue back to the people. We are the only party seeking to heal divide in our country by offering a final say in all circumstances.

It is well known that I campaigned to remain in 2016. I was delighted to share the stage with Keir Starmer who like me, has stated he will campaign to remain in a future confirmatory vote Labour will secure in Government.

A vote for any other party on Thursday puts this at risk”.

Alongside local residents and community leaders, representatives from the People’s Vote, For our Futures Sake and European Movement attended to show support for Stephen Morgan.

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City MP slams Government over ‘blatant’ plans to stop poorer people voting

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has accused the government of planning a “clearly discriminatory” and “blatant” attempt to effectively take the vote away from poorer people and many young and elderly voters, using proposals to demand official photo ID at the ballot box before voting.

During the Queen’s Speech, the Tories announced they would introduce a series of measures to secure electoral integrity, including requiring voters to show an approved form of photographic ID in order to vote.

Since 2010, there has been just one allegation of polling station fraud in Portsmouth, back in 2015.

Across the UK, out of more than 44 million votes cast in 2017, there was only one conviction resulting from 28 allegations of polling station voter fraud. The number of allegations fell to just 8 in 2018, again with just one resulting in a conviction.

3.5 million citizens do not have access to any photo ID, with 11 million citizens lacking a passport or driving license.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“This is a clear attempt by the government to stop the poor, the young and the elderly from voting, denying people their democratic rights and rigging the result of the next General Election.

It is a disgraceful attack on the civil liberties of those the Conservative Party deems unlikely to support them at the ballot box.

I simply will not allow a situation where the Tories can ride rough-shod over my constituents’ basic rights like this.

The people of Portsmouth deserve better. We’ve got to stop this plan – and that means stopping the Conservatives.”

 

 

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Responding to the debate and vote in Parliament today, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“Mr Johnson’s deal is even worse than Mrs May’s. It is a sell out deal which sells out Portsmouth people’s jobs, rights and our city’s communities. Nationally it would pave the way for a sell-off of our cherished NHS and lead to a decade of deregulation. Even the Government’s own data reveals that the PM’s deal will cost the UK £130 billion in lost growth, and will reduce public finances by £50 billion meaning less money for our city’s schools and hospitals.

It is little wonder that hundreds and hundreds of Portsmouth people, businesses and trade unions have told me they don’t support Mr Johnson’s deal. Whether people voted leave or remain, it is nothing like anything the nation was promised back in June 2016, when Portsmouth South only narrowly voted to leave well over three years ago.

For these reasons, today I voted for the Letwin amendment. I am assured the majority in Parliament agreed, to prevent Britain crashing out on the 31 October, and allows proper public scrutiny of the withdrawal agreement.

Brexit has divided the nation and it is clear Mr Johnson cannot be trusted. The PM must be brave and put his deal to the people, not just the politicians, and let them have a final say”.

Mr Johnson’s deal has been heavily criticised, in part because of the significant detrimental implications it poses to workers rights. The commitments in Mr Johnson’s deal are significantly weaker even than those in the previous Prime Minister’s and – coupled with the removal of many level playing field projections from the Withdrawal Agreement will further weaken rights and protections.

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Stephen Morgan MP reacts to Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal

“Working people. The NHS. Low income families. These will be hit hardest by the negative effects of Mr Johnson’s failure of a Brexit deal with the EU.

It runs riot over centuries of progress made towards workers’ rights, places profit over people and leaves the door open for our cherished NHS services to be pillaged by privatisation. With the Tory track record of eroding workers’ rights and selling of bits of the NHS to the highest bidder, is this any wonder?

I did not think that it would be feasible to see a deal worse for Portsmouth people than the one put forward by the Mrs. May, however, Mr Johnson seems to have surpassed even that.

It is nothing more than a race to the bottom on rights and protections.

There is nothing in the deal that has the ability to heal the current divide. I am not willing to vote for a deal that will make Portsmouth poorer and insult people to such a degree.

There is only one way out of this mess. The PM must be brave and put it to the people and let them have the final say”.

 

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“The closure of Lynx House will be a disaster for Portsmouth” – City MP grills Government over implications of HMRC closures under no-deal

Today, during questions in the House of Commons, Stephen Morgan MP continued to apply pressure to Government over the proposed plans to close the HMRC centre, Lynx House in Portsmouth.

Mr Morgan’s chief concern raised today was that if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, the HMRC workload is set to increase from 55 million customs declarations to 270 million according the National Audit Office.

Mr Morgan said:

“The fact that Government is planning to shut Lynx House, which provides vital employment to nearly 1000 members of the community, at a time when the HMRC workload is set to increase by nearly five times demonstrates their poor foresight and lack of planning.

A no-deal Brexit will be disastrous for Portsmouth and this nation anyway, the added implications of Government cuts to HMRC and staffing and resource levels down 17 per cent since 2010, is a recipe for disaster”.

Mr Morgan has been fighting alongside the trade unions to retain Lynx House since becoming MP in 2017 and has already brought the Shadow Treasury Minister responsible to the site to see for herself the issues faced by staff as part of a long-running campaign against closure.

Mr Morgan said:

“Anyone who watches the International Trade Secretary’s response to my serious question about Portsmouth will see that it is both vague and lacking in substance. No robust plans are offered in response to how HMRC will deal with the increased workload and I am deeply concerned that adequate planning is not taking place.

Portsmouth needs urgent action from this Government. That is why I have written to the Chief Secretary in a bid to get the Government to take notice of the people at the coal-face raising alarms about HMRC closures at Lynx House.

I have urged the Chief Secretary to rapidly respond by paying a visit to Portsmouth and to see for himself the issues faced here.”

Stephen Morgan MP has so far met with local HMRC staff, spoken with the unions, raised the issue in parliament, supported council motions and brought frontbench colleagues to visit the site and written to the Minister responsible.

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Responding to the DfT announcement of £400,000 for Portsmouth International Port today, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Whilst today’s announcement is long-overdue, and helps provide much needed support for Portsmouth International Port at this time of huge uncertainty, the allocation is a mere drop in the ocean for the challenges that the city will face under a no-deal Brexit.

With no-deal preparations costing the nation £170,000 per hour, that’s money better spent on our city’s schools and hospitals.

The city council has said relations with the Department of Transport had been ‘highly problematical’. We had high hopes the Transport Secretary had listened to Portsmouth when he finally visited the Port last week to hear how the council and its partners had been spending taxpayer’s money preparing for a no-deal Brexit and trying to avoid traffic chaos and congestion in our city. It now seems this may not be the case.

I’ll keep lobbying for Portsmouth to push this Government to invest in our city. The port’s success is our city’s success. Our economy and the public services we all rely on depend on it”.

It has been confirmed that £400,000 has been allocated towards a gate camera and vehicle booking system for Portsmouth. The Port was hoping for double that amount of funding and may need to find other ways to meet the shortfall.

 

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City MP responds to State Opening of Parliament

Responding to the State Opening of Parliament, city MP Stephen Morgan said:

 

“Today the Government has set out an agenda to Parliament that it has no intention and no means of delivering. Their funding plans for public services do not even undo the cuts the Tories and Lib Dems introduced since 2010.

 

You just can’t trust Mr Johnson. He illegally suspended Parliament, and his recent policy announcements have been exposed as being nowhere near enough to fix the problems Portsmouth’s communities face.

 

So far we have heard nothing about what they will do to tackle the climate emergency after years of failure; nothing about how they will tackle rising child and pensioner poverty; and nothing about how they will tackle the housing crisis.

 

At a time when we see the economy weak, shrinking last month, productivity falling again and wages now lower than 10 years ago, we desperately need a transformative plan to rebuild Britain, our public service and our city’s communities”.

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City MP slams Government over relentless cuts to Portsmouth police

Stephen Morgan MP has hit out at the Government over issuing misleading statistics when it comes how many bobbies will be on the beat in our community. The MP’s concerns are raised on the same day that Mr Johnson revealed that far fewer officers will be reaching Hampshire than previously pledged.

The Government’s flagship officer recruitment pledge has been called into question after initial allocations reveal more than half of forces will remain below 2010 levels, and numbers have been merged with Counter-Terrorism and National Crime Agency personnel.

On this, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Like most policy announcements coming from Mr. Johnson, the moment you apply any scrutiny they crumble to dust. The announcement that our region is getting many more officers is no exception.

I have been taking action for some time both in parliament and locally over the lack of bobbies on the beat, urging Government to take notice and get more police on our streets in Portsmouth.

Mr Johnsons’ pledge to reinstate any police officers that the previous Tory and Lib Dems cut is nothing more than a farce with the figures actually including new personnel from the Counter-Terrorism Unit and staff at the National Crime Agency.”

Commenting Louise Haigh MP, Shadow Policing Minister said:

“Like elsewhere in Boris Johnson’s Premiership, the lofty promises he made in Downing Street have fallen apart when exposed to scrutiny.”

The truth is the brutal cuts he and his colleagues voted for will not be reversed and our local communities will be continue to be at risk as a result.”

In Hampshire, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) 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 against the person. There was also a total of 150 child grooming crimes recorded in Hampshire.

Mr Morgan said:

Figures show that Hampshire now has 1,050 less officers than it did in 2010, a catastrophic 28% decrease. It is the people of Portsmouth and our brave officers who have to deal with the consequences of less police and more crime.

Cuts have consequences and in our area with a combination of fewer officers with less equipment, criminals are facing less of a risk. The Government is failing when it comes to keeping our city’s communities safe and setting officers in good stead to fight crime.

I won’t rest until more police are on Portsmouth streets. I will continue be a strong voice for our officers and our community when it comes to keeping our city safe.”

Cuts are also taking their toll on police personnel. Recent Cambridge University studies showed that 90% of officers had been exposed to incidents of trauma and the study suggests that overall PTSD rates in law enforcement are almost five times higher than general UK population levels. 

Mr Morgan has been calling on Government to make drastic changes when it comes to policing for some time. He has been out in every ward in his constituency with bobbies on the beat, called on Ministers in the House of Commons to step up, brought the Policing Minister to the city and slammed the regime of cuts perpetuated by Tory and Lib Dem Governments. He regularly meets with Hampshire Police Federation to listen to concerns from the police community.