, , ,

Why Portsmouth’s past and present MP’s are throwing their weight behind Keir Starmer – Stephen Morgan MP

Labour bucked the trend in Portsmouth South. While I welcome increasing numbers of voters putting their trust in our party here to carry on delivering for Portsmouth, the national picture is bleak.

From speaking to residents on the doorstep, and colleagues in the corridors of parliament, I know from Portsmouth to Penistone Labour voters felt let down and disillusioned.

If we are to rebuild our heartlands and regain the trust of the electorate, we must be led by a prime minister in waiting with eyes well and truly focused on the future. Our next leader must be willing to pioneer the path back to power and be capable of forming a Government. Why? Because by then our most vulnerable community members will have had to endure a decade and a half of austerity.

Already we have seen a 250 % rise in the number of unsheltered homeless, 69 % spending reduction on youth services and 4 million British people living in deep poverty. In opposition, I wake up and decide what I am going to say about these issues rotting away at our society. I want to wake up and decide what I am going to do.

The survival of the Labour party may depend on the next election. If we do not have the right leader in place, this could mark the beginning of the end for Europe’s largest party.

That is why I am supporting Keir Starmer. He is the candidate capable of healing the rift, rebuilding our party as a broad church and importantly, putting a Labour PM back in Number 10.

I am not alone in my support for Mr Starmer. I stand in solidarity with Portsmouth’s Labour MPs who trod the path before me. Party Grandees Syd Rapson, Lord Frank Judd along with Sarah McCarthy-Fry have publicly stated support for the Holborn and St. Pancras MP, a testament to one of his greatest assets – the ability to unite. A much-needed quality at this time of division and adversarial politics – both inside our party and across politics.

I’m backing Keir Starmer because I believe he’s got what it takes to win. To win back voters Labour lost in the last general election and reinvigorate those that have lost faith in the party’s ability to be formidable.

There is so much at stake. The lives of millions of British people and the future of the party that, whether you are a supporter or not, has shaped modern Britain through creating the NHS, introducing the minimum wage and founding the Open University.

With Keir Starmer at the helm, Labour can get on with confronting the challenges faced by our society and begin looking to build a better tomorrow. Not just offering a radical plan but the opportunity to deliver a radical plan for Britain.  

I urge anyone who shares this vision to join Labour and unite behind him.

, , , ,

City MP backs constituent unfairly dismissed while pregnant

Following correspondence with constituent Helen Larkin, Stephen Morgan MP has taken firm action to highlight the unfair treatment of pregnant women in the workplace.

Ms. Larkin raised her case with Mr Morgan in January 2020 following her unfair dismissal from The Liz Earle Beauty Company while she was eight months pregnant.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Ms Larkin’s case highlights gaps in the support network offered to pregnant women undergoing an employment tribunal. It is imperative that structures are in place that prevent discrimination of any kind and take into account the personal situations of employees, especially when pregnant or during maternity periods.

It is Government’s responsibility to look after its citizens, if this is the way that pregnant women are being treated, it is clear that improvements must be made.”

Upon hearing about the case and with the support of women’s rights group, Pregnant then Screwed, Mr Morgan took immediate action in parliament.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“In order to highlight Government’s failings and urge action, I have submitted parliamentary questions and written directly to the Secretary of State responsible.

Government must change the law to give pregnant women extended time for employment tribunals, urgently reassess the law when it comes to making pregnant women redundant and come up with a strategy for urgent reform of current processes.

I will continue to apply pressure until justice for Helen and others is seen.”

Olga Fitzroy from Pregnant then Screwed said:

“We have long campaigned against pregnancy and maternity discrimination and strived to support women like Helen who have been treated badly by exploitative employers.

The government must step up and extend the time limits that new mums and pregnant women have to bring a tribunal claim, as the current rule of 3 months is inhumane and can damage mothers and babies mental and physical health.

We are delighted to have the support of Stephen Morgan MP and look forward to continuing to work with him in highlighting where change needs to occur.”

, , ,

“Education and remembrance are the only cures for hatred and bigotry” – City MP delivers powerful speech from dispatch box

Stephen Morgan MP today took to the dispatch box in the House of Commons to represent his party in the Holocaust Memorial Debate.

The speech honed in on the importance of education in tackling prejudice and specifically talked of how lessons from nearly 75 years ago are very relevant today.

The Shadow Communities Minister said:

“The immeasurable tragedy of the holocaust has darkened lives on an infinite scale. We owe it to all those who suffered brutally at the hands of the Nazis to take measures to stop this from ever happening again.

Education and remembrance are the only cures for hatred and bigotry, and it falls on all our shoulders to drum out prejudice and racism whenever we encounter it.”

Mr Morgan closed the debate, a privilege reserved for frontbench Shadow Ministers and took time to thank and mention MPs from all parties who spoke in the debate.

Addressing the chamber, Mr Morgan also spoke of his pride in Portsmouth’s Jewish community and the need for all parties in parliament to look internally to eradicate hate.

Mr Morgan said:

“Our city is privileged to have one of the oldest Jewish communities in Britain, having been established in 1746. As city MP, I have a responsibility to my friends in that community to lead from the front and make sure there is zero tolerance of any form of hate crime.

With around 300 police reported incidents of hate crime taking place each day and nearly 80% of cases not resulting in further action being taken, now more than ever we must take decisive steps to drum out this rot.

I remain committed to being a strong voice on all forms of hate crime and prejudice and I will always fight for equality, justice and fairness. “

Stephen Morgan MP’s actions in parliament are not the first in his work to combat prejudice and hatred. He has signed up to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, signed the Book of Commitment, grilled Government ministers over rises in hate crime, regularly meets with hate crime recording organisations such as CST and is hosting events in Portsmouth alongside Tell MAMA.

 

, ,

Portsmouth’s past and present Labour MPs unite behind Keir Starmer as next leader of the Labour party

Stephen Morgan MP has been joined by Portsmouth’s past Labour MPs in supporting Keir Starmer.

Party grandees, Lord Frank Judd and Syd Rapson along with Sarah McCarthy-Fry have now all publicly declared support for the Holborn and St Pancras MP who is currently one of the frontrunners.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“In opposition, I wake up and decide what I am going to say about the issues rotting away at our society. I want to wake up and decide what I am going to do. When the Labour Party is united, radical and relevant it wins.

That is why I am supporting Keir Starmer. He is the candidate capable keeping the policy programme radical, bringing the party together and importantly, forging a path back to power.”

Former Portsmouth MP and city freeman, Syd Rapson said:

“I’m backing Keir Starmer because I believe he’s got what it takes to win. The ability to win back voters Labour lost in the last general election in places like Portsmouth North and reinvigorate those that have lost faith in the party’s ability to be formidable.”

Former Portsmouth MP, Lord Frank Judd said:

“Of what is an interesting and impressive short list, I shall be backing Keir.  His record speaks for itself.  He will bring rational and calm statesmanship to the forefront.  His commitment to justice, human rights and to fighting social injustice is outstanding.

The UK badly needs him.  He has respect across the political spectrum.”

Former Portsmouth MP, Sarah McCarthy-Fry said:

“The most vulnerable members of our communities have been let down by the Tories. Homelessness is at a record high, youth services have been heavily cut and millions are living in poverty.

We need a Leader who can win the trust of the voters and beat the Tories. We need a Labour Prime Minister in No 10. I believe Keir is best placed to make that happen “

Stephen Morgan MP hosted the Labour leader hopeful in his constituency twice since being elected representative for Portsmouth South.

Mr Starmer made the trip to Portsmouth once to understand the impact of Brexit on the city and separately to pledge his support for Mr Morgan prior to the 2019 General Election.

, , ,

Stephen Morgan MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

Today city MP Stephen Morgan signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.

This year we are marking 75 years since the liberation of the concentration camps of Europe and the end of the Second World War. At the end of the month, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, people across the globe will remember.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘Stand Together’.

After signing the Book of Commitment, the Shadow Communities Minister and Portsmouth South MP said:

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Portsmouth to reflect on the darkest times of European history. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the six million Jewish victims and also pay tribute to the survivors.

As I wrote in the memorial book on behalf of constituents, education and remembrance are the only cures for hatred and bigotry.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

“As the Holocaust moves further into history, it falls on all of us to ensure that their stories and the stories of the 6 Jewish million men, women and children brutally murdered by the Nazis, are never forgotten.

We all have a duty to remember the Holocaust and to stand up against antisemitism and hate, now more than ever.”

, ,

Portsmouth MP joins Shadow Defence team

Photo credit: permission given from TruffShots https://truffshots.com

 

Ahead of the election of a new Labour Leader and Leader of the Opposition it has been announced today that Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP will be stepping into a front-bench role as Shadow Minister for Defence Procurement. The appointment puts the city MP at the heart of Labour’s defence team headed up by Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith MP.

The announcement follows Mr Morgan’s record as a strong voice on defence matters in the House of Commons and previously the Public Accounts Committee specialising in concerns related to the nation’s armed forces and military capabilities. The MP has also been running a campaign in Westminster for better support for armed forces personnel past and present, including working with local organisation All Call Signs to urge the government to record veteran suicide levels.

Responding to the appointment, the new Shadow Defence Procurement Minister Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I have always been clear the Government has no higher duty than the protection of our citizens and the maintenance of national security. Yet since 2010, we have seen 5,000 Royal Navy jobs cut, 12 ships axed, 91 defence sites sold off and the lowest defence spending for 20 years.

It is only right that these brave men and women have equipment to match their capabilities. Through my work on the Public Accounts Committee, I have seen the equipment and infrastructure black hole resulting from a decade of Tory corner cutting and indifference.

I welcome the opportunity to join the Shadow Defence Team to speak up for our nation’s armed forces and to hold Government to account over their poor defence record”.

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Nia Griffith said:

“From work on veterans’ welfare to grilling government over low quality military housing, Stephen Morgan has been a steady hand on defence since he came to parliament.

I have no doubt he will be a capable and diligent addition to an already effective Shadow Defence team and look forward to working alongside him in highlighting the litany of defence errors made by this Government”.

In covering this role, Mr Morgan has added to his portfolio as Shadow Communities Minister working with Labour’s Communities and Local Government team headed by Andrew Gwynne MP. Mr Morgan replaces Wayne David MP who has stood down to focus on defence priorities in other ways in Parliament.

, , ,

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.

, , ,

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.

, , ,

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.

, , , ,

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.