Legacy of last Labour Government unfolds before city’s eyes as HMS Prince of Wales comes home to Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan spent time with many hundreds of fellow Portsmouth people today watching HMS Prince of Wales dock in its new home for the first time.

The 65,000 tonne HMS Prince of Wales, commissioned by the Labour Government in 1998, will call Portsmouth home following its journey down from Roysth in Scotland.

Stephen Morgan, who visited the ship while under construction twice in welcoming the new aircraft carrier, the latest edition to the Royal Navy fleet.

Stephen said:

“Today, we had the opportunity to witness the legacy of the last time we had a Government that cared about our armed forces.
HMS Prince of Wales is not just vital to our national security and ability to respond to humanitarian crisis’, it has generated thousands of jobs and been of great economic significance to this nation.

I had the privilege of seeing her under construction as Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South twice in Rosyth, attending her naming, and seeing her dock in Portsmouth has instilled in me a massive sense of pride in the city where I grew up. Portsmouth truly is the heart and home of the Royal Navy”

Resulting from the Labour introduced carrier strike, the UK industry is set to benefit from a 15% build share of the jets—£13 billion to British companies. We also know that UK shipbuilding employs 23,000 people and contributes £1.7 billion a year to the UK economy.

Stephen Morgan said:

“We are at a critically important time for the United Kingdom, our allies, our place in the world and our nation’s defence and security yet since 2010 we have seen deep cuts with the MoD’s budget falling by nearly £10bn in real terms.

I have always been clear that the state has no higher duty than the protection of our citizens and the maintenance of national security. That is why I am proud that HMS Prince of Wales, and her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth, were the brainchild of a Labour Government and a legacy of the last time we had a Government serious about our Royal Navy.

Increased maritime capability, endless new job prospects, a boom for Portsmouth’s economy. This is what happens when Labour are in power.
Investment in Portsmouth’s naval future to make it as impressive as it’s history should not stop here. That is why I have been relentlessly lobbying for investment in a dry dock facility in our naval base which would bring in over 100 new jobs and be worth £1bn to our economy.

The Government now need to listen. It’s the right thing for Portsmouth and the right thing for the Royal Navy. I will keep working hard to make it happen”

Stephen has a strong record of delivery when it comes to standing up for Portsmouth and the Royal Navy. Demanding a dry dock facility during PMQs and written questions, meeting the procurement Minister to lobby for the city, meeting troops across the country, applying pressure over substandard military homes, standing up for veterans and hosting debates on armed forces welfare. These are just some of the actions he has taken, he has pledged to do more, but will need your help in doing so.

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“With 1 in 5 Portsmouth children suffering from tooth decay by the time they are 5 years old, we need urgent action”- City MP speaks out after visit to University of Portsmouth Dental Academy

Stephen Morgan MP has visited a state-of-the-art training facility developed in partnership between the University, King’s College London Dental Institute and the National Health Service in his constituency of Portsmouth South.

The visit forms part of a long-running campaign adopted by the MP to increase patient access for all to vital dental services. Mr Morgan has vocally slammed the current Government’s ‘shocking’ record on dental services that has seen 42,000 children admitted to hospital to have multiple teeth removed under anesthetic last year alone.

The city MP spent time both with students about to become the next generation of first-rate dentists and the staff who work clinically in the Dental Academy and across a wide variety of community settings.

Mr Morgan said:

“Access to dental services is vitally important and to use the British Dental Association’s words, we are in crisis.

21 million people have not seen a dentist for over 2 years, around just 50% of dental practices are able to admit new NHS patients and in Portsmouth, the number of children being admitted to hospital for tooth decay has doubled.

With the Government making real term cuts to dentistry of nearly 30% since 2010, more people are finding themselves unable to get treatment which is putting pressure on other NHS services.

It is essential that institutions like the Dental Academy are consulted and discussion begins around how to deal with this issue.”

The key issues discussed by the MP and senior representatives from the Dental Academy were orientated around securing Portsmouth as a national dentistry training hub with even greater national recognition and increasing provision of services to the local community.

Mr Morgan said:

“At a time when dentistry is in crisis, with1 in 5 Portsmouth children suffering from tooth decay by the time they are 5 years old, the work being conducted here is more important than ever.

The top-class dental academy is yet another example of how work done in Portsmouth is not just relevant to our city but to the nation.

The opportunity to spend time with those working to become top rate dentists and the experts responsible for training them gives great insight into the work being conducted here in our city.”

Patient access to dental services has been high on Mr Morgan’s agenda for some time. Earlier this year, following the closure of three dental practices in Portsmouth, Stephen called an urgent snap meeting with NHS England and The British Dental Association.

Mr Morgan said:

“This Government’s incessant will to sell off bits of our NHS and leave it in the hands of companies like Colosseum in Portsmouth, owned by a swiss investment bank, is irresponsible and puts profit before Portsmouth people.

We urgently need a coherent oral health strategy that has patients at the heart of it and is focused on access and prevention, and NHS dentistry that is adequately commissioned and funded.”

Since the crisis with Colosseum dental arose in Mr Morgan’s patch, he has been relentless in his efforts to resolve the issue and secure dental access for all. So far, he has met with senior NHS England officials, the Director of the British Dental Association, grilled the Minister responsible in parliament, written out to the new Minster last week and been out to visit the services for himself.

He remains committed to being a strong national and local voice on all NHS issues.