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Shadow Defence Secretary visits Portsmouth to help re-elect national voice on defence, Stephen Morgan

Stephen Morgan, who won Portsmouth South in the General Election of 2017 and is seeking re-election, was today visited by senior Shadow Cabinet Member, Nia Griffith in his home city. The visit came as a result of his consistently strong stance on defence.

Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary made the visit to discuss Mr Morgan’s relentless efforts to secure the dry docking facility in Portsmouth, to spend time with local veterans organisations.

The visit was organised ahead of the first entry of HMS Prince of Wales expected in Portsmouth Harbour on the 16 November. The two new carriers were commissioned by the last Labour Government and resulted from the decisions made by Labour Ministers.

The Shadow Defence Secretary, Nia Griffith said:

“Portsmouth people made the right decision in 2017. From tirelessly lobbying the previous Government to invest in Portsmouth by locating the dry dock facility within the city to being a voice for veterans in Parliament, Stephen has consistently fought his city’s corner.

His record of delivery has been outstanding. Portsmouth people need to back Stephen as the only candidate who can beat the Tories, who have made unprecedented cuts to our armed forces, so that he can continue to advocate on the city’s behalf.”

2017 winner and current candidate, Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth is the heart and home of the Royal Navy. Our great city being the base-port of the forthcoming HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth reaffirms that.

I want to ensure that this legacy is continued, that is why I want to continue to lobby hard and speak up for Portsmouth when it comes to the location of a dry docking facility worth over £1 bn to our local economy.

Today, for Portsmouth I made the case to Labour’s most senior defence figure as she joined me spending time with veterans, discussing our city’s naval future and meeting residents on the doorstep.”

The frontbench visit kicked off with Labour’s Defence Secretary spending time with Mr Morgan at the Historic Dockyard and discussed Mr Morgan’s efforts to secure the dry docking for the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, which would generate over 100 jobs and £1bn locally.

On securing a dry docking facility, Mr Morgan said:

“I have met the relevant Minister, written countless letters to three different Defence Secretaries, submitted a string of written questions, grilled the Government during Defence Questions and met with the Naval Base Commander.

Since 2010, we have seen 5,000 Royal Navy jobs cut, 12 ships axed, 91 defence sites scheduled to be sold off and the lowest defence spending for 20 years. It is clear you cannot trust the Conservatives’ record when it comes to safeguarding our armed forces.

When I asked the previous Government to begin recording veteran suicide? They refused. When I asked for the dry dock to come to Portsmouth? They refused. When I asked the Government to extend the forces rail card to veterans? At that time they refused.

I will not stand idly by and allow Government to yet again neglect the needs of the city where I grew up. Portsmouth’s success is the Royal Navy’s success and the dry docking facility would secure jobs for the future”.

Mr Morgan also hosted a roundtable discussion with local veterans organisation All Call Signs, who provide support to ex-forces personnel, and Labour’s Defence Secretary to discuss Labour veterans pledge.

Stephen James from All Call Signs said:

“For some time we have been working alongside Stephen and others in a bid to get Government to record veteran suicide.

I have seen him host debates, write letters out to coroners, ask questions in Parliament and work hard to achieve this goal. I hope that he is able to continue this vital work for the veteran’s community and that we are able to continue our work together.”

Mr Morgan is no stranger to standing up for veterans, he has been calling for the HM Forces railcard to be extended to ex-service personnel, worked alongside The British Legion and others to ensure the success of D-Day 75 and worked in the Public Accounts Committee to probe into substandard military accommodation. For him to continue this vital work for Portsmouth, he must be re-elected on the 12 December.

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“People power prevails” – city MP ‘delighted’ with news lifesaving Cystic Fibrosis drugs have been green lit

Life-extending cystic fibrosis drugs will be available on the NHS next month after a deal was struck following four years of deadlock over their price tag.

City MP, Stephen Morgan has joined those he has long been campaigning alongside in celebrating today’s news.

Mr Morgan said:

“Today’s ground-breaking news that vital lifesaving Cystic Fibrosis drugs have been given the green light will be received ecstatically by those who have been dealing with the life-threatening condition.

People such as Ivy and her mum Gemma Weir, who I have been absolutely honored to have worked alongside in raising awareness of the necessity for Vertex and NHS England to reach a deal.

Together with Ivy from Portsmouth, I have written out to every MP in Parliament, spoken in debates, attended meetings with the pharmaceutical company and written to the Health Secretary. This is a demonstration that tenacity, dedication and relentless work put in by the people affected most can force big decisions at the top. This decision is long overdue from this Government, and while Ministers have taken far too long over this, today’s announcement is a victory for people’s power.

I would like to congratulate Ivy and Gemma on their success and am delighted for the 5,000 UK people now able to see the light at the end of what has previously been a very dark tunnel.”

Up to 5,000 patients in England will benefit from three £104,000-a-year pills after the deal with Boston-based maker Vertex. All three drugs, Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco, slow the decline of lung function – the main cause of death in cystic fibrosis. 

Negotiations had been at a standstill since Vertex this year rejected an offer of £500million over five years for access to the drug, the reason behind the Portsmouth representatives work with local activist Ivy and Gemma Weir.

Mr Morgan said:

“Ivy, Gemma and other activist have fought tooth and nail, often when no end was in sight, to get to where they are today. We have pioneered social media campaigners together, incessantly grilled the Health Secretary and his Ministers and lobbied vertex hard over these changes.

I am delighted that our efforts have been successful and this is a testament to the fact that people power prevails.”

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Portsmouth People given chance to create law as city MP puts it to the people

Today, Members of Parliament have their chance to be selected for a private member’s bill. This is a kind of raffle that allows any MP to enter the ballot, the winner of which can create a new law.

Stephen Morgan has put it to the people by issuing an open poll asking for constituents to get in touch with their own ideas and asking them to vote on some of his, based on some of his long-running campaigns.

Mr Morgan said:

“Portsmouth people should have direct access to democracy, that is why I have asked them for their thoughts.

This is an exciting opportunity for us to put or heads together and come up an idea for making Portsmouth even better.

If I was to be successful in this raffle like process, I want to make sure that Portsmouth people are right alongside me in changing the law, after all it is the community set to be most affected.”

Only a minority of bills become law, but publicity can help an issue. It cannot create a new tax or increase spending but does give MP’ the chance to change legislation.

Stephen Morgan MP offered his constituents via an online poll the following options alongside the chance to draft their own:

  • An end to auto-renewing subscriptions to avoid unfair charges you didn’t bargain for
  • Get coroners to record veteran suicide so we can get bespoke mental health services for our armed forces community
  • Harsher fines for those that commit environmental offences such as littering Put an end to smoking in our urban green spaces and parks

Within an hour the poll gathered over 250 votes and is still open to the public to participate. If successful, the city MP has vowed to bear in mind the views of his constituents when putting the bill forward.

Have you got a fresh, ground-breaking idea that could brighten up our community?

If so, please vote here

 

https://surveyhero.com/c/7c0ad262?fbclid=IwAR0mmXg1bpsaaBOQSEeKngCxuNuVKnb_-N__GyQ5VYJrnezsN6z434CJmZY

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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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City MP backed unanimously after storming Labour’s re-selection procedure

Stephen Morgan will stand unopposed as the Labour candidate for Portsmouth South constituency when the nation next goes to the polls, it has been confirmed today (Saturday 19 October 2019).

As with all sitting Labour MPs, Mr Morgan has had to take part in the party’s trigger ballot to determine whether other candidates could challenge him for the right to contest the seat.

MPs need to gain the support of around two-thirds of local branches and affiliated organisations within their constituency.

Portsmouth Labour confirmed today that the sitting MP had stormed the selection process, receiving the support of all branches and all affiliates and therefore unanimously re-selected by the party for the next national poll, whenever that may be.

Responding to the announcement, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Being the MP for Portsmouth South, the area where I grew up, has been more than just a job. It has been the greatest honour of my life. Giving everything I have, every single day, has not been a chore or a challenge, but a privilege.

Since being elected I’ve been prioritising the matters local people raise with me whilst out and about in our community. That means standing up for our police as we lose 1,050 officers and crime goes up; fighting the £3.7m cuts to city schools; making sure our NHS gets the resources it needs; speaking up for our armed forces and for better mental health support for veterans; and listening to your views and concerns on Brexit.

But there is so much more for me to do for Portsmouth. That’s why I am delighted and humbled to have received the full support of Portsmouth Labour, every single local branch and every single affiliate organisation to be the Labour candidate in the next General Election. I would like to thank members for putting their trust in me.

Portsmouth is my home. With a record of delivery and a promise of more, I will continue to stand up for it”.

Mr Morgan took the seat from the Tories in the snap General Election of 2017, the first-ever Labour representative in the constituency’s history. The seat was gained by increasing the vote share by 21.5%, one of the largest increases in the country. The city MP is the Shadow Minister for Communities.

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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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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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Pick Portsmouth’s best boozer

City MP Stephen Morgan is asking Portsmouth people to nominate their best local pub for the Parliamentary Pub of the Year Awards.

The award focuses on celebrating pubs in the community and will give 650 Members of Parliament the opportunity to nominate a pub to be recognised as the Parliamentary Pub of the Year.

The criteria for selecting your pub of choice is that they must be great at what they do. Whether this is pouring the perfect pint or serving up the best pub-grub and regularly hosting live music, the choice is yours.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Pubs are often at the hearts of our communities. By providing people with a place to meet and socialise they help to act as the glue keeping communities together.

We are fortunate in Portsmouth to have a thriving pub scene with an abundance of live music, top food and great beer.

I want to encourage as many people in Portsmouth to tell me their favourite local in my constituency so that we can commend the efforts of these vital community outlets.”

Research by CAMRA has found that pubs are continuing to struggle with 18 closing a week in Britain, according to the latest industry figures. We know that there were 476 closures in the first six months of the year, 13 more than in the last six months of 2017.

The Shadow Minister, who has a policy responsibility on community pubs added:

“Our British pubs sector supports 900,000 jobs, generates £23 billion in economic value and provides £13 billion in tax revenues. In addition, 30 million of us visit the pub every month. I even host some of my constituency meetings in them.

I believe that these vital economic and social outlets must be protected.

That is why I am proud to have stood on a manifesto that committed to set up an analysis for how best to support of local pubs to examine the causes for their decline, as well as establishing a joint taskforce that will consider their future sustainability. I also have worked hard to give communities more power to shape their town centres, including by strengthening powers to protect pubs.

If you want to help protect our locals and commend the publicans that make our pubs so successful, please get in touch.”

Before selecting the nomination for Portsmouth South, Mr Morgan is encouraging pub goers to nominate their favourite local in the city online. The deadline for doing so is 22 September.

To nominate your favourite Portsmouth pub please follow the link.

http://www.portsmouthlabourparty.org.uk/parliamentary-pub-of-the-year/

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“Portsmouth needs answers, not insults” City MP uses PMQs to highlight threats to local NHS under no-deal

Stephen Morgan MP has shot out of the blocks and wasted no time in grilling Mr Johnson in the first Prime Minister’s Questions post summer recess.

Mr Morgan hit out at the PM in the chamber over the projected disastrous consequences that a no-deal Brexit would have for the NHS, highlighting Mr Johnson’s own Health Secretary’s grave warnings.

The question follows hundreds of Portsmouth people writing to the MP setting out their concerns over the implications of a no-deal on the NHS.

Mr Morgan said:

“This is an issue that I get hundreds of emails about every day, and for good reason.

Crashing out of the EU without a deal will have catastrophic consequences for the most cherished of our services – The NHS.

The Health Secretary has refused to rule out the possibility of people dying from medicine shortages and warned a no-deal would “not be pretty” for the NHS.

We know that there are care staff shortages of 18,000 across the South East alone with no-deal set to exacerbate this due to a lack of clarity over working rights.

We know that the large amount of new paperwork and regulatory hurdles that a no-deal Brexit would create for imports is likely to increase shortages of medicines and medical devices.

I will do everything in my power to stop the disaster that is no-deal from destroying a service we all so greatly rely on.”

The new Prime Minister floundered following the question and failed to even address the topic of medicine and staff shortages arising from a no-deal Brexit.

Following the PM’s response, Mr Morgan said:

“Today, I gave Mr Johnson the opportunity to outline exactly how the Government proposes to prevent NHS medicine and staff shortages in the event of no-deal.

His utter refusal to answer my question is yet another example of him dodging democratic process and running scared from the people.

He has already ignored the letter I sent him the week of his premiership, heavily contravening parliamentary procedure, now he has ignored the voice of Portsmouth in Parliament.

I will be writing to the PM again requesting detailed analysis of no-deal implications for our city’s NHS, specifically how this will affect staff shortages and medicine supplies.”

Mr Morgan is not alone in his frustration at the PM’s disregard for the NHS. Independent organisations such as The Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust have all taken matters into their own hands by writing out to MPs warning them that No-Deal will be disastrous for the NHS.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“It is an insult to those pioneers who, in 1948, founded an NHS on the principles of fairness, equality and access for all.

We should be improving and increasing the use of the NHS, not hacking bits off, leaving it open to attack and gambling with its future.

I find it deeply saddening that we face times where we see a Prime Minister so recklessly willing to destroy such a cherished service in the name of his own ego-driven campaign for leaving with a no-deal.

I will not stand for this and will continue to make sure that I stand up for Portsmouth’s NHS both inside and out of Parliament.”

 

 

 

 

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Portsmouth MP hits out at Government as generation locked out of home ownership

Nearly 900,000 fewer under 45s are owning their own home at a time when more and more are turning to the bank of mum and dad to buy a property, city MP says.

Official government figures analysed by Labour show that in 2009-10 there were 4.46 million under 45s that either owned their own home outright or with a mortgage. In 2017-18 that fell to just 3.59 million. A drop of 870,000 households.

At a time when fewer young people are able to buy a property. More and more households are turning to the bank of mum and dad to help buy a house.

New analysis of the Government’s English Housing Survey shows that in 2010-11, 1.12 million households used a gift, loan or inherited money from family or friends to help finance the purchase of a home. In 2017-18 this rose to 1.78 million households. A rise of 630,000 households.

The failure to build the new homes needed has hit the hopes of local people too. In Portsmouth, there have been 354 homes built on average over the last five years. This compares to 810 in the year before the financial crisis.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“This analysis confirms a generation locked out of homeownership over the last decade and shows the scale of Conservative failure on housing. This is affecting Portsmouth people and it is simply not good enough.

The Tories are failing young people on ordinary incomes to realise their dream of homeownership. Five years ago, Conservative ministers promised to build 200,000 ‘starter homes’ but not a single one has been built, while the number of new low-cost homes to buy like shared ownership almost has halved since 2010.

The country needs a new plan to fix the housing crisis, not a new Tory leader. Labour will back first-time buyers with 100,000 discounted FirstBuy Homes, help curb renting costs and give first dibs on new homes for local people.”