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Only Stephen Morgan can beat the Tories in Portsmouth South

Two new separate polls, one commissioned by YouGov and one by BestForBritain, have put Stephen Morgan as the clear frontrunner in Portsmouth South for the General Election in two week’s time. The polls blow the Liberal Democrats out of the water by an impressive margin in the two-way marginal seat – meaning the only way to beat the Tories again is by voting Labour.

The two polls, independently commissioned and from neutral organisations, rely on scientific data and successfully predicted both the 2017 General election and also recent by-elections.

Responding to the polls, Stephen Morgan said:

“I welcome not one, but two independent and recent polls putting me as the clear frontrunner in Portsmouth South. This only reaffirms what my team is hearing on the doorstep each day, that I am the only candidate able to beat the Tories here again.

These two separate polls were not commissioned or paid for by any party. They are based on scientific sampling by experts and are the same polls that predicted the result in the 2017 General Election and the same polls that predicted recent by-election results.

As someone born and bred in Portsmouth, I am heartened to see the community is behind me when it comes to beating the Tories again.”

These two polls differ greatly from a poll commissioned and paid for by the Liberal Democrats which was funded through private party funds. Their poll undertaken over a month ago has been widely criticised for the tiny sample size and lack of respondents from the city’s younger generation.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth people want someone who is standing up against school cuts, campaigning to get more bobbies on the beat, taking action over climate change, securing funding for QA hospital and taking action over reductions to the services we all rely on. The polling confirms that I am the only candidate that fits the bill.

I’m standing on a record of delivery, and a promise or more, always putting Portsmouth first. I hope to carry on my vital work after Thursday 12 December to ensure that Portsmouth people have a local born and bred MP standing up for our city in Parliament. “

As the only candidate who has already represented the city as an MP, Stephen Morgan has an impressive track record when it comes to standing up for his city. From lobbying to get a Naval dry facility worth £1bn to the local economy to visiting every school in his patch, he has been an active local campaigner and strong national voice.

The candidate is backed by Best for Britain, People’s Vote, Vote for a Final Say, For Our Future’s Sake and More United. Tactical voting sites supporting remain candidates are also lending their weight to Stephen Morgan’s re-election.

Details of the independent poll are as follows:

MRP, Best For Britain (November 2019)

38.5% Labour
30% Conservative
23% Liberal Democrat

MRP, YouGov (November 2019)

42% Labour
35% Tory
16% Liberal Democrat

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Stephen Morgan – “People in Portsmouth South have been denied adult education – but Labour’s going to throw open the door to lifelong learning.”

With nearly 60% per cent of people in our region not educated beyond an A-level-type qualification, Labour will today announced plans to ensure everyone has access to education and training throughout their life to end skills shortages and “allow our economy to rise to the opportunities of the future”

Stephen Morgan said:

“People in the South East have been denied adult education –so often it’s costly or difficult to access. That’s why the next Labour government’s going to throw open the door to lifelong learning.

Our economy is transforming so rapidly, and governments have got to step up and support workers in these turbulent times.

That’s why we need a government that makes it as easy as possible for us to build the skills we’ll need in the future. It’s why we need a government that’s for the many not the few.”

Britain has a severe skills shortage, particularly in higher technical skills. According to the CBI, two thirds of businesses worry they won’t be able to fill skilled posts. The Conservatives have slashed funding for further education and skills training by 47 per cent and overseen a 25 per cent decline in adults enrolling in education.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Labour will throw open the door for adults to study, whether they want to change career, are made redundant or didn’t get the qualifications they needed when they were younger.

For many, adult education is too expensive, too time-consuming or too difficult to get into.

People have been held back for too long. We will make free education a right to ensure we have the skills we need to allow our economy to rise to the opportunities of the future.

In a speech this week, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner pledged to put vocational education on a par with university degrees and deliver a radical expansion of lifelong learning to make sure “no one is shut out of education.”

The party says its plans are vital to meet the changing nature of industry – ensuring automation doesn’t leave people without work and we have the skills we need to tackle the climate emergency.

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City MP vows to maintain pressure on Government over poor rail service

Stephen Morgan MP has hit out at the Government Transport Secretary in his response to a letter he received last week from the department.

Since Mr Morgan was elected, he has been relentless in his calls for better rail services. Meeting with rail providers, attending cross-party parliamentary rail groups, asking questions in the chamber, submitting written questions and speaking to commuters in his patch.

In his recent letter to the Secretary of State, Mr Morgan spoke of his record of delivery and pledged to do more.

In an attempt to answer Mr Morgan’s tireless efforts to raise awareness of this ongoing plight affecting his constituents, Grant Shapps MP wrote a one-page letter to Mr Morgan setting out the Government strategy.

Mr Morgan said:

“While I appreciate the Secretary of State acknowledging the substandard service my constituents have been forced to endure in recent times, it doesn’t contain any detail. No dates. No numbers. No timeframes.

This is an issue that will affect my constituents tomorrow, they need to know now when the Government plans to resolve this issue. 67% of the trains run on time, what if Portsmouth people only paid their fares 67% of the time? There would be uproar.

It is time that Government took responsibly for the fact they have done nothing to address substandard train delivery and came up with a robust strategy for dealing with it.”

Mr Morgan also spoke out on what exactly was needed to improve rail services:

“There is an intrinsic need to not only improve rail times, but to also refurbish and upgrade Portsmouth rail stations and stations in the surrounding areas.

Access issues, faulty toilets, poor quality seating arrangements, unsightly exteriors and limited step free access are just some of the issues faced.

I have asked the Secretary of State to actually explain how he plans to deal with this rather than offer a half-baked proposal supported by no real commitment.

I used to commute every day from Fratton, where I grew up, to my job in London. I know first-hand the frustration at paying gold standard prices for a substandard service.”

Mr Morgan regularly raises the matter both in Parliament and in Portsmouth and has vowed to continue being a voice for commuters and rail users in his patch.

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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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“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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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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Portsmouth MP sets out changes needed to combat climate change during Queen’s Speech debate

Stephen Morgan MP has delivered an impassioned speech to parliament today setting out what needs to be done to tackle climate change and applying scrutiny to the Government’s ropey track record on the issue.

The MP spoke out on the 4th day of debates relating to the Queen’s Speech and called on his colleagues to regard climate change at the top of the parliamentary agenda and to work together to achieve progress.

While delivering the speech, Mr Morgan said:

“The mildly technical nature and distant-sounding threat of ‘climate change’ may not be enough to invoke people to come out fighting from their beds.

But pretty much all of us would do so to protect our loved ones, our homes and our livelihoods, and to build a better world.

Why should defending against climate change be any different?

So, let’s be honest about the challenges we face, let’s tackle it together, and let’s redouble our efforts.”

Responding to Ministerial statements after the speech, Mr Morgan highlighted the Government’s poor track on climate change.

Mr Morgan said:

This Government, led by an ambassador of climate change indifference, is falling far short of the mark.

Failure to deliver on 24 out of 25 emissions-reducing actions recommended by the climate committee in 2018.

Just 7 of 24 indicators showing the UK’s underlying progress towards its climate goals being met.

Missed targets for the fourth and fifth Carbon Budgets, even more than predicted in last year’s official update.

We need to see a party in power that set aside serious proposals for tackling the world’s most pressing issue.”

Mr Morgan has also stressed the need for robust legislation and binding agreements, which experts such as Friends of the Earth have warned are essential in formulating an appropriate climate change bill.

On the introduction of a new environment change bill, Mr Morgan said:

“We must see an environment Bill strong enough to create change throughout Government, industry and society.

Allowing this Bill to be consumed by the Brexit shadow would be a fatal mistake and it is integral that we see an end to toothless scrutiny and non-binding legislation.”

The MP’s actions in parliament today are part of a broad campaign aimed at raising the profile and rate of action over tackling climate change. Mr Morgan regularly meets with Friends of the Earth, lead the Labour Group locally to declaring a climate emergency, has consistently voted in favour of climate legislation, hosts meeting with local activist and speaks out regularly in Parliament.

Mr Morgan also used the opportunity to lobby Government over illegal air pollution levels in the city and need to meet in Southsea Sea Defence Scheme.

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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”.