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Stephen Morgan backs Labour’s plan to improve education standards for all children

Labour is today announcing a plan to improve education standards for all children following the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revealed on Tuesday that children in the UK are worse off than those in other countries.

The total additional investment in schools over three years will amount to £25 billion compared to £14 billion promised by the Conservatives.

The extra funding will be used to raise school standards across the country, with a range of new policies aimed at improving educational outcomes.

Stephen Morgan said:

“The first stage of the battle against inequality is ensuring that every child gets access to a first-rate education. I am a firm believer that if children work hard and aim high they should be able to achieve.

Sadly, in Portsmouth our schools have lost £34.9 million since 2010 and each of the 51 schools in our patch is set to lose £4 million following recent Governments austerity measures.

I am proud to represent the only party with a comprehensive plan for tackling the crisis in our schools. I welcome today’s announcements which is another positive plan for Portsmouth.

I went to schools in Portsmouth. I want future generations to have the same, if not better, opportunities than I did. Education spending has declined a staggering 25% in seven years. I’ll keep fighting for our city’s schools. It is what our children deserve.”

From lobbying Government Ministers with Portsmouth teachers in parliament to going out and visiting every school in his patch, Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for funding our city schools. He needs your support on the 12 December to carry on this vital work.

Stephen Morgan said:

“I went to schools in Portsmouth. I want future generations to have the same, if not better, opportunities than I did. Education spending has declined a staggering 25% in seven years. I’ll keep fighting for our city’s schools. It is what our children deserve.”

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

“Labour will transform education standards in this country for every child, capping class sizes and ensuring every child is taught by a qualified teacher in a safe school building.

“We will invest in record per pupil funding, restore the Pupil Premium and close the gap in support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, to give every child the support they need.

“The Tories cannot be trusted to do this. They have slashed school funding for the first time in a generation, leaving pupils taught by unqualified teachers, crammed in to super-sized classes, and not receiving the support they need.”

Labour will:

• Cap all class sizes at 30 by recruiting nearly 20,000 more teachers
• Guarantee that every child is taught by a qualified teacher, ensuring around 25,000 currently unqualified staff are fully trained during Labour’s first term in office
• Ensure teachers will have more time for lesson planning and professional development
• Invest in ensuring that all school buildings are safe, with a new fund of over £7bn to tackle the backlog of vital but overdue repairs and install safety measures such as sprinklers
• Close the gap in funding for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, with extra funding to reverse deficits in the High Needs Budget
• Fully reverse cuts to the Pupil Premium, and increase spending on it above inflation to support the most disadvantaged pupils.

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New charter for arts another positive plan for Portsmouth

Eddie Izzard joined Stephen Morgan on the campaign trail to back Labour’s new charter for the arts as part of its commitment to transform the country.

Labour promises support the arts at the “heart of government” with £1bn of new investment in a renewed cultural strategy.

Welcoming the proposals, 2017 winner Stephen Morgan, standing for re-election as Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, brought Eddie Izzard to the city to promote the positive plan for our city’s communities.

The Arts for All policy charter sets out a comprehensive programme of support for Britain’s arts and culture sector, promising to radically expand access and increase funding for the arts.

Labour’s new charter for the arts sets out ambitious plans to:

• Invest £1billion to transform the UK’s cultural landscape by upgrading and building new libraries, museums, galleries and arts venues across the country
• Invest £175 million a year in an arts pupil premium to give every primary school student in the country access to creative and cultural experiences
• Launch a new ‘Town of Culture’ competition
• Invest £1 billion in Youth Services
• Maintain free access to national museums and galleries
• Introduce greater transparency in lottery funding and ensure grants are shared out fairly between all our communities

Eddie Izzard said:

“The cohesive affect that the arts have on our communities could not be more needed at this time of uncertainty and division.

Only Labour have a manifesto pledge to recognise this and I sincerely hope that Portsmouth South residents back Stephen Morgan as the only candidate to carry on the vital work that he has been doing for the city.”

Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth deserves a government with a wide-ranging programme and unwavering commitment to support and fund the arts.

I want to ensure that every child in every part of our city and our country has the opportunity to learn an instrument, engage with the arts and develop their creativity.

I am really pleased proper funding for the arts will be central to Labour’s commitment in Government to enable Portsmouth people to lead more enjoyable and fulfilling lives.”

This follows local authority funding cuts meaning that national portfolio organisation funding has fallen by £14 million in the past year, according to new data from Arts Council England.

The 649 applicable organisations in ACE’s portfolio received £113.3 million in funding from local councils in 2016/17, down 11% from £127.5 million the previous year.

In Government, the party would establish a co-ordinating committee for arts and culture working across government departments to drive a national cultural renewal.

Eddie Izzard then joined Stephen Morgan and hundreds of local Labour activists at a major public event hosted at a local business.

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Positive plan for Portsmouth Pensioners Announced

Stephen Morgan backs Labour’s seven policies which have been released as part of the ‘Pensioners Pledge’. These seek to “restore dignity and support” for older people living in Britain.

Labour has set out a positive plan for Portsmouth pensioners in more detail with a new ‘Pensioners Pledge Card’, after the Tories chose to ignore the biggest issue affecting older people in their manifesto; the social care crisis.

Labour’s ‘Pensioners Pledge Card’ includes plans to:

  •  Introduce free personal care and invest £10.8 billion in social care provision
  • Keep the free bus pass for older people
  • Restore 3,000 bus routes that have been cut under the Tories and give Portsmouth City Council the powers to regulate services again
  • Stop the Tories taking free TV licences from the up to 3540 households with someone over-75 in Portsmouth South (69% of all households in the constituency)
  • Pay-outs of up to £31,000 for the 4300 women in Portsmouth South who lost out unfairly when the Tories changed the state pension age without fair notice
  • Invest in Warm Homes for All with insulation for every home – and in the process create 1475 unionised construction jobs and supply chain jobs for the next generation in Portsmouth
  • End the injustice of the state skimming 50% off the mineworkers’ pensions schemes

Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate in Portsmouth South, said,

“People who have dedicated so many years to their families and communities deserve to be treated with respect. But years of Tory and Lib Dem cuts have robbed so many pensioners of their dignity. Look at what’s happened to our country in the last few years: more pensioners in poverty, and more children suffering the same.

This a rich country – we can do better than this. Labour will deliver real change for pensioners, supporting them to live the comfortable lives they deserve. Labour’s on your side.”

The Conservatives have cut £8 billion from social care since 2010 – and have not allocated one penny extra to social care in their manifesto. According to Age UK, 1.5 million older people are not getting the care they need.

Stephen Morgan added:

“One of the things that inspired me to get into politics was seeing my D-Day veteran Southsea grandfather not get the standard of care he deserved. Since then, I have done everything in my power to stand up for our city’s older residents.

I have a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for older people. Relentlessly lobbying the Government over the Tories snatching away the free TV licence, fighting for investment in social care, consulting the community to improve bus services, meeting regularly with groups to discuss better dementia care and support for older people, and liaising with the Portsmouth Pensioners on their concerns and ideas.

I have made progress, but there is so much more to do. In order to carry on this vital work, I need your support on Thursday 12 December”.

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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 endorsed by More United, putting the country first before party politics

Stephen Morgan has been selected by More United as an ambassador of political fair play following his consistent choice to rise above mud-slinging and reluctance to engage in tit-for-tat game playing.

The Labour candidate has the support of the campaign group, as he seeks re-election as the MP for Portsmouth South, his home constituency.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Clean honest and frank politics. That is what Portsmouth people deserve. I am glad that More United have taken into account my track record of refusing to use divisive language and backed me as a local candidate.

I am proud to be endorsed by More United, a cross-party movement making politics less extreme and less tribal. If we want to heal a divided Britain, politicians must work across party lines to come together beyond the election and put the national interest first to move the country forward.”

More United aims to crowdfund £250,000 over the course of the election and recruit a national network of volunteers who will turn out to support candidates locally. The unique model aims to elect more progressive candidates from different parties to shift the balance of parliament away from extremism and reform politics.”

Tabitha Morton, CEO of More United said:

“This election we have an ambitious plan to flood Parliament with MPs who care more about the country’s issues than party tribalism. MPs who care more about compromise than their own careers.

By coming together to back these candidates who will work to find common ground, put country above party, and raise the bar in Parliament, we can build a better politics.”

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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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Giving veterans the support fit for heroes

Labour has marked Armistice Day with a pledge to support the armed forces and the nation’s veterans with better working conditions, against a backdrop of falling pay and privatisation.

The party’s manifesto, which will be released later this month, will include five major pledges to support the forces and their families:

1. Fair Pay – scrap the public sector pay cap, which has seen 5.8% real terms pay cut for the starting salary of an Army Private

2. Decent housing for forces and their families – end the growing reliance on the private rented sector

3. A voice for service men and women – consult on creating a representative body, similar to the Police Federation

4. End privatisation – root and branch review of outsourcing and a clear presumption in favour of public delivery of public contracts

5. Support for forces children – better access to schools with dedicated local authorities’ admissions strategy for the particular challenge of frequent school moves.

Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South is a longstanding campaigner for better support for serving personnel and veterans.

He has been undertaking a variety of actions since getting elected to Parliament including calling on the Government to fund a veterans railcard, lobbying for bespoke mental health services and pressing Ministers to implement a scheme to record veteran suicide to understand the scale of the problem.

Stephen Morgan 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 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? They refused.
Enough is enough. Labour’s veterans pledge is a testament to the fact that they are the only party prioritising our armed forces personnel.”

Stephen has a strong record of delivery when it comes to standing up for our veterans. He has Hosted a debate in Parliament. Written out to 98 coroners. Hosted roundtable meetings with veterans in his office. Worked alongside local organisations such as All Call Signs and urged Government to instate a veteran’s railcard.

Stephen said:

“With a record of delivery standing up for our armed forces and our nation’s veterans already, I promise to do so much more.

As a strong national voice on defence, I will continue to put our armed forces first. I welcome the comprehensive plan announced today to help achieve that”

Stephen Morgan has cited his grandfather, a D-Day veteran from Portsmouth, as the motivation behind his relentless efforts to see our armed forces personal treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

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“The generation to whom we all owe so much deserves a Government that won’t cut the benefits they rely on”- Stephen Morgan vows to carry on fight for free TV licences for over 75s

In 2017, the Conservatives stood on a manifesto that pledged not to touch benefits for the elderly. The have gone back on this promise and Government has forced through policy that saw the free TV licence snatched away from over 75s.

Prior to the Government change, Mr Morgan been engaging with thousands of Portsmouth residents about this issue. Since, he has spoken in parliamentary debates, written a joint letter with Portsmouth Pensioners to the PM, grilled Government Ministers in parliament, met with Age UK and conducted independent research. Alongside this record of delivery, Mr Morgan has pledged to do more and said he will not put down the gauntlet until he sees the vital benefit restored.

What does this mean? 1.3 million of the poorest over 75s left with another big bill to contend with. 3 million households worse off. 500,000 people living with dementia facing a new difficult bill.

Stephen Morgan said:

“It is an outrage that this Government is overseeing the scrapping of free TV licences for 3 million older people, leaving a Tory manifesto promise in tatters.

We know that around 1.3 million over-75s are eligible for Pension Credit but do not or cannot claim for the benefit. This means at least 650,000 of our poorest pensioners facing an ominous new annual bill they simply can’t afford.”

The Labour candidate who has already served 2 years as local MP has also been working with others to look into how certain more vulnerable demographics will be affected by the change.

This includes those with dementia, veterans and those who have lost cognitive brain function through injury or illness and struggle with submitting applications.

Mr Morgan said:

“As if committing a policy U-turn on benefits for over 75s wasn’t enough, we also know that of the 80% of pensioners set to lose out, over 900,000 are brave veterans who have gone above and beyond to protect this great nation.

How is the Government paying tribute to them? By leaving another hefty bill on their doorstep.

This combined with the fact that 500,000 people living with dementia facing a new difficult bill is demonstration that Conservatives really are the nasty party.”

The extensive work Mr Morgan has done for older members of the community is not limited to action on the free TV licence. He has worked hard on increasing bus routes, called for a veteran’s railcard pledged unconditional support for the winter fuel allowance and regularly meets with Portsmouth Pensioners to ensure they have a voice in parliament.

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You can’t trust the Tories with our NHS

Today, Freedom of Information (FoI) data obtained by Labour has revealed that there has been a huge increase in the number of cancelled operations because of staffing issues and equipment failures.

The simple truth is under the Tories, patients wait longer and longer for vital care. This General Election is about the future of the NHS and ensuring quality care for all.

Under the Tories, so many more people in pain and distress are forced to endure cancelled operations, including increasingly on the day they were supposed to have treatment. It is a shameful indictment of a decade of Tory cutbacks running our NHS into the ground.

Labour will fully fund our NHS, recruit the doctors and nurses we need and safeguard our NHS from a Trump deal sell off that could cost the NHS £500 million a week.

Responding to the release of the data, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Our NHS is the most cherished British institution. Its introduction over 70 years ago has transformed people’s lives, giving access to world-class healthcare for all, regardless of the ability to pay.

Since becoming the MP for Portsmouth South, it has been a top priority of mine to care for it – standing up locally and in Parliament for our hospitals, community care, dentistry and GP services.

I’m proud of the record of delivery since 2017 on this most pressing of issues for Portsmouth people. Helping to secure £58m of investment to enhance urgent care at QA Hospital, new community services at St Mary’s and lobbying for improvements to meet growing demands on local mental health services.

I’ve also been taking action meeting the workforce that makes our local NHS so special. Regularly visiting services, nominating an NHS cleaner for the national NHS awards, hosting events to thank those who work in health and care services locally and hearing from frontline staff the challenges our NHS faces.

It is clear there is so much more to do.

Under this Government, so many more people in pain and distress are forced to endure cancelled operations, including increasingly on the day they were supposed to have treatment. It is a shameful indictment of a decade of Tory and Lib Dem cutbacks running our NHS into the ground.

As Britain goes to the polls next month, we have the chance to secure a better future for our local NHS that ensures quality care for all people in Portsmouth. It is time we give the NHS the care it needs”.

The figures obtained under FOI review some worrying findings:

• Last year, 78,981 operations were cancelled. These operations were either classed as urgent or were elective operations cancelled at the last minute – either on the day the patient was due to arrive in hospital or after they had already arrived.

• The number of operations cancelled because of staffing issues and equipment failures have each increased by a third in two years. Last year, 10,900 were cancelled because of staffing issues and 4800 were cancelled because of equipment failures.

• There are currently over 100,000 staff vacancies in the NHS, with shortages of 10,000 doctors and 43,000 nurses. Cuts to NHS Capital Budgets have left the health service with a £6.5 billion repair bill.

Under this Government, so many more people in pain and distress are forced to endure cancelled operations, including increasingly on the day they were supposed to have treatment. It is a shameful indictment of a decade of Tory and Lib Dem cutbacks running our NHS into the ground.

As Britain goes to the polls next month, we have the chance to secure a better future for our local NHS that ensures quality care for all people in Portsmouth.
It is time we give the NHS the care it needs.

 

 

 

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City MP vows to continue to protect our NHS services from Tory privatisation plans

The Conservative expansion of the internal market has led to one third of contracts being awarded to private providers since the Health and Social Care Act it has been found. Some of these contracts are vast and their failures have wasted millions of pounds of public money.

Concerned residents of Portsmouth have been contacting city MP Stephen Morgan over Tory plans. This follows a debate last week as part of the Queen’s Speech when the Conservatives voted against Labour’s motion to protect our NHS, along with the DUP and the Liberal Democrats shamefully abstained.

Mr Morgan, along with key agencies and hundreds of his constituents, have expressed deep concerns over the current Government’s plans to sell off vital NHS services.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“It is clear that our NHS is not safe in the hands of a Tory government, especially one so keen on securing a quick free trade agreement with President Trump.

Warm words and promises that the NHS is not on the table when it comes to trade agreements is not sufficient, especially when a Tory government seeks to trade away our vital public services under the table”

This comes as the Tories and Trump want to lock-in privatisation into public services and erode the NHS’s power to negotiate affordable drug prices.

This along with the will to sell off access to the UK cache of patient data and to prevent future governments from taking policy decisions in the interest of public health over private profits has received great opposition from Labour.

The City MP said:

“The NHS, founded by Labour, should be a free at the point of delivery universal service for all. Its sole purpose should be the provision of healthcare. Successive Conservative Governments have flagrantly abandoned this principal by incessantly selling bits off to the highest bidder and pursuing a system of profit.

It came as no surprise then that the Tories voted against the Labour amendment that would safeguard NHS services and repeal the widely critics system of privatisation.

We need legally binding commitments and clearly defined negotiating mandates that ensure preservations and protections in all aspects of trade agreements, so our vital NHS services are safeguarded.”

Vital votes have taken place on ending privatisation and repealing the widely criticised 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The votes took place as part of the Queen’s Speech Debate and were a result of Labour adding an amendment that sought to put an end to further privatisation of the National Health Service.

Mr Morgan added:

“The Tories’ expansion of the internal market has led to one-third of contracts being awarded to private providers since the Health and Social Care Act. Some of these contracts are vast and their failures have wasted millions of pounds of public money.

The Lib Dems also flashed their true colours, by shying away from the vote and refusing to even take part the Lib Dems have sent a clear message that they put profit over people and would not be willing to stand up against NHS exploitation and privatisation.

We had the opportunity to put an end to this. Sadly the Lib Dems jumped straight back in with their old coalition partners”.

Stephen Morgan and Labour have repeatedly stood up for the NHS and sought to include legal protections in future trade agreements through a series of amendments to the Trade Bill as introduced in 2017.