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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.”

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Portsmouth MP continues call on Government to act following latest city high street casualty

Stephen Morgan MP has slammed Government inaction following yet another high street closure planned for Portsmouth’s high streets, this time Halifax bank on Palmerston Road.

Mr Morgan has raised specific concerns about the effect that this closure will have on older community members and small businesses.

Mr Morgan said:

“This Government is failing the nation’s high streets and with it, the people of Portsmouth. Already we have seen Knight & Lee put down its shutters for the last time and Debenhams disappear from Palmerston Road.

Now the imminent closure of Halifax bank will be to the detriment of our older community members who may prefer face to face transactions and small businesses, who are already under considerable strain.

I am in discussion with Lloyds Banking Group, who are the decision makers when it comes to the Halifax closure. I will be urging them to think very carefully about their proposals which is yet another decision putting our high streets at risk”.

Mr Morgan has long been taking action to support the high streets. He has created a support local campaign backing small business, hosted roundtable meetings with SMEs and is lobbying for business rate reform.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Hampshire has already seen 1,600 shop closures in recent years affecting hundreds of local jobs and leaving high streets bare and neglected.

Experts warn that with closures of high street banks comes damaging consequences for independent shops due to decreased footfall.

The issue we are seeing is indicative of a bleak national picture born out of Government’s failure to address challenges faced by the high street. I will continue to make the case for action to bring our shopping areas back from the brink”

 

 

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City MP praises NHS staff as QA rated “good”

Stephen Morgan MP has praised the efforts of local NHS staff in an open letter sent out today. The MP’s action follows today’s announcement by regulator, Quality Care Commission (CQC), that the hospital has been awarded a ‘good’ rating.

A team of CQC inspectors visited the hospital in October and November 2019. Upon inspecting the quality of care being provided, the overall rating of the trust has improved from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“It is the staff at QA hospital who are the driving force behind recent improvements. Their dedication and relentless work ethic make a difference where it matters, on the front line of care giving.

Hospital staff often see us at our most vulnerable and when we are most in need of care, today’s announcement will reassure all QA users that they are in safe hands.

I know I speak for many within the city when I convey my appreciation and thanks to QA staff for the improvements made and look forward to seeing further progress in the future”.

CQC inspected five core services and leadership at the trust. Ratings for medical care and surgery had both improved overall and are now rated good, outpatients remains rated good overall.

Catherine Campbell, CQC’s Head of Hospital Inspection for the South East said: 

“Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has made improvements since our last inspection. Overall, the trust has improved from requires improvement to good which is great news for people using these services.

Our inspectors found that the culture within the trust had improved and patients benefited from more coordinated care with local organisations. We found that care was inclusive, and staff supported people’s needs and preferences.

All the staff at Portsmouth should be proud of the positive progress that’s been made.”

Mr Morgan’s letter sent out today follows recent action taken over QA Hospital. The city MP helped to secure £58 m for the hospital trust through lobbying efforts, hosted the Shadow Health Secretary at the hospital, nominated a QA staff member for a national award during the 70th anniversary of the NHS and has spent time walking wards with staff. 

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“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.

 

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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.

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City MP to host anti-islamophobia event in Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan MP has announced he is hosting a joint event with Tell MAMA, a national organisation that seeks to combat islamophobia through recording incidents of hate crime.

The event, scheduled for Saturday 25 January from 13:30 until 15:00, will take place in Mr Morgan’s constituency office at 72 Albert Road. It is a drop-in style format that will allow people to pop in and learn more about Tell MAMA’s work.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Islamophobia is up 26% and at the highest level we have seen since records began. I will not stand idly by and allow this rot to set in. Combating the problem lies in community engagement, dialogue and shows of unity.

Whether you are a taxi driver who has suffered abuse or you have witnessed hate crime while out shopping, Tell MAMA and I want to help. This event will provide an opportunity to learn more about the importance of recording hate crime and give access to the expertise of a major national organisation. Islamophobia is not a problem confined to one section of our community, we must all work to eradicate it.

Our city’s strength lies in our diversity, it is vital we both recognise and act upon this fact. The well-established Muslim community in Portsmouth are a vital asset to our city and it is only right that we stand in solidarity in the face of oppression and hate. “

Tell MAMA said:

“With hate crime on the rise and islamophobia rife, now more than ever we need ambassadors for change like Stephen Morgan taking proactive steps in their communities.

We have worked with Mr Morgan already and look forward to our continued partnership, fighting hate crime on the front line and making our communities safer and more welcoming.”

The city MP has vocally condemned hate crime in all its forms and has worked with CST from the Jewish community, started a campaign to halt hate crime committed against LGBT+ people and continues to raise the issue in parliament.

register your place at the event, please visit here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tell-mama-tickets-90128511805

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City MP turns words into action at standing room only climate event in Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan MP this weekend hosted a climate change event at a city venue sharing ideas on how to improve Portsmouth’s approach to tackling the environmental crisis.

The event, which was attended by around 90 people and was standing room only, was orchestrated by Stephen Morgan MP who shared the stage with Oxford City Council’s Cabinet Member for a zero carbon Oxford, Cllr Tom Hayes.

Mr Morgan said:

“Local authorities are on the front line when it comes to tackling the climate emergency. With time running out and crisis point already reached, addressing this issue will remain a top priority for me.

Oxford are trailblazers when it comes to going green at local authority level. The reason I hosted Cllr Hayes here is so that we in Portsmouth can capture what works and help replicate it.

Today was the first of a series of events and ideas I’m planning in 2020 that will help spread change in our city. Success is built upon shared ideas and learning from others, I will lead from the front when it comes to making the changes our communities need.”

The city MP’s work comes at a crucial time. Portsmouth City Council is ranked as one of the lowest for recycling rates, is in the midst of an air pollution crisis described as ‘dangerous’ by the British Heart Foundation and has a low Friends of the Earth Green rating.

The city MP said:

“Portsmouth City Council can do better. Rather than simply highlighting their failings, I will create opportunities for improvement.

Oxford has a commendable record of encouraging green business models, introducing the world’s first Zero Emission Zone from 2020 and has proliferated the use of electric vehicles by introducing widespread charging points. These are changes made at local authority level that we can match.

Portsmouth people are makers and doers, I have every faith that in the future we can be a flagship green city leading from the front. I will do everything in my power to reach that goal.”

Stephen Morgan is no stranger to climate change action. He has consistently voted in favour of legislation in parliament, lead the Labour group to declaring an emergency locally, has spoken out in Queens Speech debates, hosted roundtable meetings in Portsmouth, launched a tree planting scheme and taken countless other measures.

 

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City MP takes further action as patient access to GP services hits crisis point

In the latest of a string of measures taken over local GP access in Portsmouth, Stephen Morgan MP has written a stinging letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care urging action over the imminent closure of Hanway Medical Centre.

Hanway Medical Centre in Buckland is set to merge with the Portsdown Group Practice which could leave many within the Charles Dickens area of the city without local access to vital NHS services.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Charles Dickens, in the heart of our city, deserves better than to lose one of its vital GP services.

Today, as part of wider efforts to preserve Hanway Medical Centre, I have written to the Health Secretary to demand urgent measures are taken by Government.

This is a crisis of their own making and I will not stand idly by while Portsmouth people are left without access to essential services.”

The practice which currently provides services for over 14,000 people in Portsmouth, has been put at risk due to issues with recruitment at partner level.

For some time, Mr Morgan has been taking action to highlight local problems with access to NHS services.

The Portsmouth South representative said:

“I have written to the Clinical Commissioning Group outlining the importance of the practice, submitted a Freedom of Information request in a bid to get to the bottom of the issue, raised parliamentary written questions directly with the Health Department, met with those affected, held discussions with the pharmacy in close proximity and now I have written to the Secretary of State.

My support for equal and fair access to medical services is unwavering. I will continue to take action both locally and nationally in Westminster as long members of our community’s access to services hangs in the balance.”

As well as raising these matters directly with the Secretary of State and other bodies, Mr Morgan has written out to hundreds of affected residents seeking their views and concerns on the matter. The city MP has urged those affected to get in contact and share their experiences so that they can have a voice in future discussions.

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“Social Isolation and loneliness don’t stop when the Christmas tree comes down” says Stephen Morgan MP

As many headlines warn, Christmas can see loneliness and social isolation heightened, especially amongst older community members. However, newly re-elected MP Stephen Morgan has spoken out saying society must do better year-round to tackle the issue.

Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“While I welcome the recognition that social isolation and loneliness receives over Christmas, I believe we cannot afford to let the issue fall when the festive season finishes.

Loneliness doesn’t stop when the Christmas tree comes down, there is work to be done. Since being elected in 2017, I have had the opportunity to work with organisations such as Age UK, The Good Company and The British Legion in tackling these social problems.

I am committed to continuing this vital work now that I have been re-elected to parliament and look forward to continued cooperation with organisations both in Portsmouth and in Parliament.”

The Jo Cox Commission started a national conversation on loneliness and successfully encouraged the Government to accept many of its recommendations with the appointment of a Minister for Loneliness to take forward the work.

However, the Government has failed to implement some of the policies and has gone against previous commitments to safeguard benefits that help to combat loneliness.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Through work with Age UK and Portsmouth pensioners, I know how important certain benefits are in combatting isolation and loneliness.

That is why 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 extensive work Mr Morgan has done for to combat isolation and loneliness is not limited to action on the free TV licence. He has worked hard on increasing bus routes, called for a veteran’s railcard, regular meets with Age UK and has a close relationship Portsmouth Pensioners to ensure they have a voice in parliament.

 

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Healthcare workers in Portsmouth join tactical voting websites in signing letter backing Stephen Morgan

Stephen Morgan, the 2017 General election winner and Portsmouth South Labour candidate, has been widely backed by major tactical voting websites and now healthcare professionals as the only candidate to beat the Tories here.

Local healthcare professionals in Portsmouth and Hampshire are among hundreds from across the country – many in target seats – who’ve signed an open letter urging people to vote tactically this Thursday to save the NHS from Brexit.

Mirek Synek, a former community paediatrician who worked in Portsmouth, said:

“I’ve signed the letter because I’m dead against privatisation of the NHS – it’s lunacy – a private healthcare system will be less accessible with lower quality of care. Before I retired, it was becoming more and more difficult to maintain good standards, due to the cuts facing the NHS.

If Boris Johnson wins a majority on Thursday, then a no deal Brexit is very much on the cards and it will mean complete disaster for the health service. The already poor levels of staffing will worsen. Many more EU doctors and nurses will leave.

That’s why, if you care about the future of the NHS, you need to vote tactically.”

Stephen Morgan said:

“We won here in 2017, it comes as no surprise that we are predicted to win here again on the 12 December. All recent polls, not paid for by any political party, put me a staggering 33 point lead over the Liberal Democrats.

The polling reflects my record of delivery in Portsmouth and the feedback that I am hearing from residents on the doorstep. I know that I am the only candidate capable of continuing to fight on behalf of our city, it’s great to know that the polling and major tactical voting websites agree.”

In their letter to all parliamentary candidates, the signatories point out that hospitals, health and care services across the country are already struggling to cope.

There are currently more than 100,000 unfilled posts across all English NHS trusts, including more than 40,000 nursing vacancies, a shortage of 11,000 doctors and 2,500 full time midwives in England. And there are a further 110,000 unfilled positions in social care.

People’s Vote, Best for Britain, For Our Future’s Sake, Vote for a Final Say and other tactical voting websites have all backed Stephen Morgan as the only candidate capable of beating the Tories in Portsmouth South.

Stephen Morgan said:

“From organising public rallies to attending meetings in parliament, I have been working with ‘People’s Vote’ for some time. I am the only local candidate who backs a final say. The Lib Dems want to ignore 17.4 million people while the Tories want to crash out with either a disastrous deal or a catastrophic no-deal.

People’s Vote have publicly stated that they believe I am the only candidate to beat the Tories and secure a final say on Brexit, where I will campaign to remain. This backs up recent comprehensive polling that puts me as the clear winner here Portsmouth South.”