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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.”

 

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“Holistic, comprehensive support for our veterans is vital – We should settle for nothing less” – City MP speaks out after visit to veterans charity 

Stephen Morgan MP has put recess time to good use and spent a day with forces charity Blind Veterans UK, a Brighton based organisation that seeks to provide holistic care and support for veterans who have suffered blindness.

The visit allowed Mr Morgan meet with veterans, or members as charity sees them, to observe first-hand the ground-breaking technology being trialled and hear feedback on the research being conducted at the centre.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“The work being conducted at Blind Veterans UK is truly remarkable. It only takes a conversation with one of the many members of the charity to hear how it has touched the lives of not just them, but their families.

Organisations such as this are essential because they provide a well-rounded, comprehensive level of support. From tackling social-isolation through group-based sports activities, to providing vital skills through educational services – the centres capabilities are impressive.”

The Portsmouth South representative’s visit culminated in a demonstration of the driverless cars being tested at the facility, paving the way for potentially changing the game when it comes ensuring blind veterans remain independent.

The visit also included discussions with the centres resident doctor about the highly-advanced research being conducted at the centre, and interactive demonstrations of the way Virtual Reality is being used to support charity members.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“The level of care provided to our ex-armed forces community by the Government does not go far enough, organisations such as Blind Veterans UK are pioneers when it comes to what can be achieved.

Well-being, education, fitness, medical care and support are all provided. We should strive to replicate this when it comes to how veterans are treated across the board.

For some time now, I have been calling on the Government to do more when it comes to tailored, bespoke services for our forces community. Spending time with the members at this organisation is a testament to how and why this should be achieved. “

Mr Morgan’s visit formed part of his long-running strategy for improving life for veterans. He has made repeated calls for veteran suicide to be recorded, written to the Government asking for further rights such as railcards to be extended to veterans, met with The British Legion, hosted Westminster Hall debates on veteran welfare and regularly meets local organisations such as all call signs.

City MP, Stephen Morgan said:

“Growing up in Portsmouth and having a grandfather who crossed the channel on D-Day makes it difficult to miss the immense efforts of our armed forces community.

My aim is simple, improve the services offered to ex-service and serving personnel so that the system is worthy of the men and women who use it.

Visits like this are integral to this process, if we can observe the challenges and successes faced by organisations such as Blind Veterans UK, we can use this a blueprint for change. I look forward to continuing to raise the issue of the wellbeing of our armed forces in Parliament and ensuring their voice is heard.”

 

 

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The PM is running scared of the people

Responding to news that Government will ‘prorogue’ Parliament, and following the signing of a cross-party ‘Church House’ declaration yesterday, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“The current Prime Minister’s reckless attempt to use Her Majesty The Queen to centralise power in his own hands is an insult to our great democracy.

We know a No Deal would have catastrophic consequences for UK jobs, our nation’s economy and it would decimate our NHS.

Brexit has already cost the UK £600m a week in lost growth whilst an estimated £1.5bn has been spent on preparations. It’s absolutely right we continue to work across party to stop a disastrous No Deal exit.

It is now clear that Mr Johnson is not only running scared of the people for not giving them a final say, but now running scared of the voice of the people in Parliament.

Yesterday I signed the Church House Declaration in defiance of a PM who is willing to bypass democracy and prorogue Parliament.

For the people of Portsmouth I will continue to work with others across party against this PM’s dangerous ego-driven campaign to remove the voice of the people at this time of national crisis.

I will do everything I can to stop Mr Johnson crashing our great country out of the EU with a No Deal”.

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“Climate change should be a core module in schools” – environment priority needed in curriculum says City MP

Stephen Morgan MP has set out demands to the Education Secretary that would see climate change taught as a core module across the UK.

The city MP’s calls for change come at a time when unprecedented numbers of climate change disasters have taken place and school children have flocked to the streets in protest against lack of Government action.

Mr Morgan said:

“Over 5,000 miles away the Amazon is ablaze, 20-30% of species are teetering on the edge of extinction and we are seeing record temperatures soar year on year. This is not some distant or disputed problem, this is happening right now.

If the Government does not take decisive action, there will be catastrophic consequences. I have written to the Education Secretary urging that climate change becomes a core module because it is his responsibility to equip the future generations with the skills to tackle climate change and the knowledge to live sustainably.

The current PM’s environmental track record has been flaky at best, while at the Foreign Office he presided over a 60% cut in climate attaches and his leadership campaign had close ties with the UK’s leading climate change denial group.

The Government must prove it is serious about tackling this issue and making climate change a core module in UK schools is a good place to start.”

Over 80,000 people have already signed a petition agreeing with Mr Morgan’s policy suggestion and it has been confirmed that the Labour Party would implement this change if elected.

Under the Labour Policy, the curriculum would focus on the skills and knowledge young people need to deal with the changing world, particularly in renewable energy and green technology jobs.

Stressing the importance of these curriculum changes, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“While issues surrounding climate change are taught up to 16 in Geography and Science, this does not go far enough.

School is about preparing the next generations for adult life, preparations and education around climate change should be a key pillar of that.

When dealing with issues of this magnitude, we need to work shoulder to shoulder and put party politics to one side. Yes, this is a Labour Policy, but is in the interests of everyone no matter their political perspective.”

Shadow Secretary of State, Angela Rayner said:

“We need to equip people with the knowledge to understand the enormous changes we face, and skills to work with the new green technologies that we must develop to deal with them.

“That must be part of a broad education and that prepares pupils for adult life. Climate change should be a core part of the school curriculum, and under a Labour government it will be.”

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City MP calls on new Veterans Minister to properly support our armed forces community 

Stephen Morgan MP has wasted no time in pressing the new Minister for Defence People and Veterans to extend the HM Forces Railcard to ex-service personnel. 

Currently, members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces enjoy the benefits of reduced rate rail travel with the HM Forces Railcard, a benefit recently extended to Reservists. Now the local MP has made fresh calls for this to go further.

Mr Morgan said: 

“This is a simple issue. The current HM Forces Railcard, offering discount rates to service people on UK trains, does not include veterans. I believe this is wrong.

I do not believe that we should differentiate between those who currently serve and those who have served when it comes to paying tribute or supporting our armed forces community.

It is not like the physical and mental scars subside after these individuals leave the military, why then should their support network?

I have written the Defence Minister in the hope that he shares this perception and, in the hope, that he will act decisively and rectify this current injustice.”

The HM Forces Railcard costs £21 and saves individuals 1/3 on most rail fares throughout Great Britain for a whole year. This works out at under £2 a month and if used regularly, has large-scale money saving qualities. 

Stephen Morgan MP said: 

“Across this nation, we are not properly supporting our veterans. Whether that is failing to offer bespoke, tailored mental health services or not properly implementing or improving the Armed Forces Covenant – the Government can do a lot more.

Making changes like extending the Forces Railcard to veterans is a step in the right direction and I will require serious explanation if the Government chooses to defy my recommendation.

I will continue to lobby all colleagues at the MoD until we see a system worthy of the brave men and women who have given so much to this nation.”

Stephen Morgan MP has long been a champion of causes close to the hearts of the force’s community. He has hosted a Westminster hall debate on Veteran Suicide, regularly meets with organisations such as All Call Signs in his constituency and has expressed a commitment to ensuring the forces community have a voice in Parliament.

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Bringing our high streets back from the brink: announcement welcomed

Welcoming news that Portsmouth has now been shortlisted for the Government’s ‘Future High Streets’ funding, city MP Stephen Morgan, who has long been campaigning for investment in the city’s shopping areas, said:
“I have long argued that the Government needs to do better, and the council do more, to bring our city’s high streets back from the brink. It’s a big issue affecting Portsmouth’s economy and our city’s communities which hundreds of people and local businesses have raised with me.
Last month we saw Knight & Lee say good bye to Portsmouth. With Debenhams closing, smaller stores in our city are also set to go. The area has already seen 1,600 shop closures in recent years affecting hundreds of local jobs.
I raised Portsmouth concerns in Parliament, lobbied senior Ministers and supported the submission of this bid for essential funding. I’m pleased these actions may be starting to pay off.
Today’s news is a step in the right direction, but investment is long overdue. With our city too often forgotten by Government what we need next is reform of the outdated and broken business rates system, and a government-led strategy to bring all our high streets back to the brink”.
A bid developed by council officers for Fratton and Commercial Road shopping areas has been shortlisted with detailed business cases now required by Government.