Local people trust Labour with our NHS

Nearly half of voters across the south east have confirmed they trust Labour more than any other party with the future of the NHS, according to a new survey shared with The News.
Of concern is more than half think the health service has got worse in the last three years, while 48.9 per cent of survey respondents in the region say they have struggled to get a GP appointment in the last year, while 57 per cent said they thought NHS services had got worse since 2014.
With health high up the agenda on the doorstep during the general election campaign, the gap in trust between Labour and the Conservatives when it comes to who would best protect the NHS is notable.
Given a choice of four major parties – the Tories, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party – some 48.0 per cent of respondents in the south east said they trusted Labour most when it came to the NHS. Only 33.3 per cent said they trusted the Conservatives most, while 11.1 per cent said the Lib Dems and 7.5 said the Greens.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, Labour’s Portsmouth South candidate, said:
“Labour created the National Health Service – our proudest achievement, providing universal healthcare for all on the basis of need, free at the point of use.
It is clear from this survey that the Tories and Lib Dems can’t be trusted to care for our local NHS. With GP practices closing, waiting lists increasing and QA hospital not getting the vital funds it needs, our city needs someone who will care and champion our local health services in Parliament.
Labour will invest in our NHS, to give patients the modern, well-resourced services they need for the 21st century. As your MP I will ensure that patients get the world-class quality of care they need and that staff are able to deliver the standards that patients in our city expect”.
The survey was carried out in partnership with Google Surveys and completed by 8,331 people.


Childcare for the many

More than a million children and their families will benefit from Labour plans for universal provision of 30 hours of free childcare a week for all two to four-year-olds.
Under the Tories only 40 per cent of two-year-olds qualify for childcare. Many working parents with three and four-year-old children are not getting the childcare they were promised by the Conservatives at the last election because of the complexity of the rules and cuts have led to the loss of 1,240 Sure Start centres across the country.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South, said:
“Labour believes every child, no matter what their background, deserves a good start in life, and that childcare costs shouldn’t be a barrier for parents who want to go back to work.
In our great city families are struggling to make ends meet. This childcare plan for families will make a huge difference in Portsmouth”.
The party will extend 30-hour childcare to more children by eliminating means testing for two-year-olds and no longer restricting provision for three and four-year-olds to children whose parents are working.
These changes will benefit an additional 1.3 million children. Labour’s universal childcare policy will help ensure all children have a good start in life and remove barriers to parents, especially women, participating in the labour market.
Labour’s National Education Service will create a high-quality, universal childcare system that will bridge the gap between maternity leave and full-time schooling in the long run.


May must be straight with the British people

Labour has called on Theresa May to come clean with the British people and answer the most pressing questions she has failed to be straight about in this campaign. 
The Conservative manifesto has betrayed Britain’s pensioners, threatened unspecified tax rises for tens of millions of working people and set out a grim future of underfunding and understaffing for our vital public services.
Given that the Conservative leader has already broken her flagship manifesto pledge on social care, Labour are challenging Theresa May to be straight with voters and give clear answers to the crucial questions she has continued to duck.

  1. Will Theresa May confirm that ten million pensioners will lose their winter fuel payments if the Conservatives are re-elected? And if not ten million, how many will it be?
  2. At what level will the cap be set on social care costs that those with conditions such as dementia will have to pay under Conservative plans?
  3. Will Theresa May match Labour’s pledge not to raise personal National Insurance contributions, and not to raise income tax for 95 per cent of taxpayers?
  4. Will the Conservatives confirm they are planning another five years of austerity for public services, as the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) stated last week?
  5. The Conservatives have warned they will scrap free school meals for 5-7 year olds if they are re-elected. Will they now spell out a realistic costing for their school breakfast proposal now they have withdrawn their discredited 6.8p figure?
  6. Will Theresa May confirm she is proposing not a single penny of extra funding for the NHS, as the IFS has stated?

Labour is calling on the Conservative leader to be straight with people and set out exactly what she’s planning for our pensioners, working people and school children.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South, said:
“I’m really concerned that Tory plans are plunging pensioners and working people into insecurity. From the people I have spoken to on the doorstep they are concerned about the future may hold. This is unacceptable.
The last government has left our public services facing the risk of further crisis. Meanwhile, Theresa May refuses to answer even the most basic questions on her policies”.
The Tory manifesto is threatening to take away winter fuel allowances, ditch the triple lock and leave pensioners facing the loss of control of their homes because of social care costs.
Cllr Morgan added:
“Having broken her flagship pledge on social care just days after she launched her manifesto, Theresa May needs to give clear answers to these crucial questions and be straight with the British people about what the Tories are actually planning.”


Labour to support WASPI women

Labour will help end the plight of the hundreds of thousands of women abandoned to live in poverty by Tory changes to their state pension age.  
Under the plan, Pension Credit will be extended to those who were due to retire before the chaotic pension age increase of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government.
This would alleviate the worst of the impacts for the most vulnerable women, and restore some of the dignity many of them feel they have been robbed of. It would provide support worth up to £155 per week to half a million of the most vulnerable WASPI women.
The government’s changes have affected women who would normally have retired earlier under the 1995 Pensions Act. Labour plans to extend eligibility to pension credit to these women, ensuring that they are not forced into the Government’s punitive social security regime.
Councillor Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South, said:
“This unfair treatment is of real concern to me. For that reason I have already pledged to do something about it as Portsmouth South’s next MP.
 I want to ensure women in our country and my home city are given some stability until their delayed state pension is available.  The concession would operate for affected women up to 2022”. 
Labour are also developing solutions for those affected who would not be entitled to means-tested Pension Credit under these proposals, helping to end the hardship faced by women who have worked all their lives, but find that they cannot retire as planned.
Cllr Morgan added:
“The Tories and Lib Dems have completely failed to act to address the plight of women affected. That’s why I welcome Labour committing to the extension of Pension Credit to support the vulnerable women affected by the last government’s chaotic approach to the state pension.
 I want to address the concerns that are being raised by thousands of women up and down the country by implementing these sensible proposals. As your MP I will take action and act to minimise any further hardship.”

Plans to make our communities safer

Labour has announced a plan to make Britain’s communities safer, by putting thousands more frontline staff into critical public services, including police, fire, prison, intelligence and border agencies.
In the wake of large-scale Tory cuts to police and security resulting in 37,000 fewer staff, Labour will recruit:

  • 10,000 more police officers
  • 3,000 more firefighters
  • 3,000 more prison officers
  • 1,000 more security and intelligence agency staff
  • 500 more border guards

Labour’s plans to reverse staff cuts in these agencies will return staffing levels closer to those when Labour left office.
Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South, said:
“Cuts to the police force endanger communities and endanger police officers too. 
Labour’s approach to policing crime will be different. We will champion community policing to ensure our communities are safer, for all of us”.
Labour will halt cuts to the Fire Service. The Tories have cut 10,000 firefighter jobs and closed dozens of fire stations. 
Cllr Stephen Morgan added:
“Under the Tories, response times have got slower and lives have been put at risk. 
We will recruit 3,000 new firefighters, review staffing levels, and consult on national minimum standards for the service”.

Lord Judd backs Stephen

In a personal letter to voters across Portsmouth’s communities, the city’s former MP, Lord Frank Judd of Portsea, backs Stephen Morgan as the candidate at next month’s general election that will change Portsmouth for the better.
Responding to the endorsement, Cllr Stephen Morgan said:
“Across Portsmouth many families speak extremely highly of Frank for what he achieved when he represented our city in Parliament. He worked tirelessly to improve life chances for all.
It is a huge honour to receive his warm words, support and encouragement to follow in his great footsteps in my home city”.
The honest letter to voters says:
“Dear friend 
I’m Frank Judd. You may remember me. I’ve served this great city as a Member of Parliament. Now I have the privilege of being Lord Judd of Portsea. 
Portsmouth is very close to my heart so it’s been a pleasure to get to know Councillor Stephen Morgan. He’s the local candidate in next month’s general election. 
I’ve been keeping a keen eye on Portsmouth and how it’s changing. In recent years I’ve been concerned. Our NHS and social care are in crisis. Not enough homes are being built. Our schools’ funding is being cut. We deserve better.
With all the big challenges Portsmouth faces, the Tories and Lib Dems understand the price of everything but the value of nothing. They are doing so much damage to the very fabric of our communities. It doesn’t have to be that way.
That’s why I’m pleased Stephen is standing to represent us. He’s impressed me with his hard work and determination to make Portsmouth a better place to live. He’s a strong voice on the council. He understands local concerns and has the energy and ideas to do something about them. Most importantly, he’ll make an excellent representative for you – and all of us – in Parliament.
Please don’t be fooled by the Lib Dems. What did they achieve when they had their chance? I know from my work in the House of Lords they can’t be trusted to keep their promises and protect our public services. These facts are clear.
I want you to consider the real choice at this election for you and your family. And I urge you to give your vote to Stephen Morgan.
Together we can change our city for the better.
Lord Frank Judd”

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Pledge for more funding to grassroots football

Labour is today highlighting our manifesto commitment to ensure five per cent of the Premier League’s domestic and international television rights income is diverted to the grassroots game.
The pledge will help the next generation of players and coaches by drastically improving facilities and pitches.
The party has also committed to working with train operating companies, broadcasters and clubs to develop a new ‘Flexible Football Ticket’ so that fans experience minimal disruption when games are switched. This will stop fans being left with worthless train tickets and having to fork out again for new tickets when games are re-arranged at short notice.
Labour’s manifesto also commits to:

  • Put fans at the heart of their clubs – by legislating for accredited supporters trusts to be able to appoint and remove at least two club directors and to purchase shares when clubs change hands. We will also review fan participation in sports governance more widely
  • Fix the broken ticketing market – by enforcing anti-bot legislation and implementing the recommendations of the Waterson review to ensure fair opportunities for fans to buy tickets
  • Improve access provision for disabled sports fans – by ensuring that rapid improvements are made and by prioritising action to make clubs comply with obligations under the 2010 Equality Act
  • Ensure that investment and support is given to grassroots women’s football so as many women and girls as possible can benefit from participating in football

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South candidate for Labour, said:
“I will ensure the footballing talent of young girls and boys is harnessed, and football remains a game for the many, not the few”.

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Only Labour will give schools the resources they need

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has produced analysis of the main political parties’ proposals on school spending in England as set out in the election manifestos.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South, has spent the last few days of the campaign talking to local teachers and parents about the challenges they face in our city.
He said:
“There is now no doubt about what Tory plans mean for education – our schools will see their budgets cut. We’re hearing it here already in Portsmouth. Parents, teachers and school staff are telling me what a struggle it is with cut after cut to school budgets.
 And head teachers have warned us what the consequences will be for parents and pupils: fewer teachers, larger classes, a narrower curriculum, or even a shorter school week.
The IFS analysis is clear: only Labour will give schools the resources they need to deliver a world-class education for the many, not just the few.”
Labour wants to invest in our city’s schools, so that every single child has the chance to succeed.
Cllr Morgan added:
“Social mobility, helping everyone to get on in life, and assisting people reach their full potential is one of the reasons I went into politics.
Labour are the party of comprehensives, of the Open University. It was us, who founded that, bringing opportunity to all. Of access to the best education for all, enabling every child to go as far as their talents and ambition can take them.
I won’t give up until our city gets a better deal for our schools”.

Tories are offering no new money for the NHS

Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South, has responded to Damian Green’s comments on TV this week that the Tories £8bn NHS manifesto pledge involves reallocating existing budgets.
Damian Green said on the Andrew Marr show that the Tories are not offering any new money for the NHS at this election, but instead their offer involves reallocating existing budgets.
Stephen said:
“As part of Labour’s fully costed manifesto, we are offering the NHS a cash boost of £8bn this year, including money for urgently needed capital works, and we’ve said how we will pay for it.
Only Labour will give the NHS in our great city the funding it needs to deliver a truly modern service for all patients.
Tories and Lib Dems can’t be trusted with our public services. Under the last government they failed on the NHS. It is now underfunded and overstretched and it is patients who will pay the price.”
Earlier this month the city’s QA Hospital lost out on over £7m of vital government funds to improve local services.


Pensioners don’t need insecurity

It is about time the Tories come clean on their plans for older people, after they caused confusion with their failed attempt to ‘clarify’ their social care policy earlier this week.
Labour is calling on Theresa May to guarantee pensioners won’t be hit with further cuts to universal benefits or further hits to their incomes.
The challenge comes as Labour warns that, having broken their promise on social care already and announced plans to means test Winter Fuel Payments, hitting up to ten million pensioners, the Tories could next come for other benefits, including free bus passes and TV licences.
Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South, said:
“The Tories are plunging pensioners into insecurity and I am hugely worried for pensioners across our city’s communities.
Their manifesto promises to take away winter fuel allowances; ditches the security of the triple lock; and proposes making people pay for essential care with their homes.
They have attempted to back away from their plans, but only raised more questions about what they were going to do instead. They could offer no reassurance to worried pensioners”.
Labour are calling for Theresa May to come clean, set out what exactly she’s planning and rule out definitively further attacks on pensioners’ living standards.
You clearly can’t trust the Tories to protect pensioners. They offer only insecurity.