, , , ,

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.