Plan to scrap pay cap fails

An amendment to the Queen’s Speech to end the pay cap for public sector workers was tabled by Labour yesterday.
Regrettably it was defeated in the House of Commons by 323 votes to 309 last night.
Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South’s first Labour MP, supported scrapping the pay cap. 
He said:
“I’m hugely disappointed by the outcome of last night’s vote. 
But I’m even more disappointed for the hard working public servants who dedicate their lives to run the services we all rely on in our great city”.
At lunchtime yesterday, there were signs the Government were seeing sense, but by the evening they voted to keep the pay cap in place. 
The cap on public-sector pay was imposed by George Osborne in 2012 and rolled over for another four years in the chancellor’s 2015 budget, meaning that the ceiling is fixed until 2019.
Stephen added: 
“We need a fairer deal for public sector workers. The cap should be scrapped. I will always work hard to support our city’s teachers, nurses and other public sector employees. That’s what they deserve”.

HMS Queen Elizabeth: a milestone in the defence of our nation

Cllr Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South’s new MP, has welcomed news that the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier has left its home port for the first time.
HMS Queen Elizabeth – one of two new carriers being built at Rosyth dockyard in Fife at a cost of more than £6bn – is to begin sea trials.
Stephen said:
“HMS Queen Elizabeth – Britain’s new aircraft carrier – is a visible reminder of what we can achieve when we work together across the United Kingdom”.
The project has provided work to over 10,000 people across the country and showcases the skills and talents of the men and women in our yards including here in Portsmouth.
Stephen added:
“HMS Queen Elizabeth and her forthcoming arrival in our great city is an important milestone in the defence of our nation. The wait will be worth it, with the carrier likely to serve our country for 50 years and will be a globally-deployable platform for generations of future aircraft.
Portsmouth’s economy is so dependent on the defence of our nation. I hope the new carrier will secure future investment and infrastructure for our city. 
I very much look forward to welcoming HMS Queen Elizabeth to Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy, as our city always should be”.

Where is the money for the Tory-DUP deal coming from?

Following the Tory-DUP sweetheart deal, Cllr Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South’s new Member of Parliament, has called for the Tories to come clean on the extra money found to prop up the government, and is seeking a better deal for Portsmouth.

Stephen said:
“We desperately need a better deal from central government for our great city. 
Portsmouth needs new investment to help us work with the business community to upgrade our city’s infrastructure, to enable local people to gain new skills and to fund new house building so that we can solve the city’s housing crisis.  
We also need new government funding to put our local public services, particularly our schools, hospitals, police and adult social care on a sound financial footing”.
Last week’s Queen Speech failed to offer the legislative programme our nation and city so desperately needs.
Stephen added:
“This Tory-DUP deal is clearly not in the nation’s interest but an attempt by the weakened Prime Minister to cling to power.”

Stephen supports our armed forces

To mark Armed Forces Day on 24 June, Cllr Stephen Morgan, new Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has called on the Government to give our armed forces a better deal.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“I am delighted to support our forces, serving personnel and veterans and their families, on Armed Forces Day. It’s wonderful that we have a day that recognises the hard work and bravery of the forces community but of course we need to be supporting them year round and the Government must ensure that our armed forces are getting a good deal on pay, welfare, housing and services.
I will be visiting the Naval Base today to meet with the Base Commander and attending the Armed Forces Day event in my constituency tomorrow and look forward to celebrating the day with the whole community”.
Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, added:
“Our servicemen and women stand up for us every day, its especially important that we stand up for them on Armed Forces Day. 
Satisfaction with service life has dropped every year since 2009 and the number of personnel leaving the forces is worryingly high. It’s time the Tories show our personnel they are valued and invest in them. The Government needs to get a grip of this problem and take action now”.

We need a better deal for our armed forces 

Labour is calling for a better deal for our Armed Forces.
Our Armed Forces are driven by the hardworking men and women who serve in the Regulars and Reserves, as well as service families and the wider Forces community. 
Labour is calling for a better deal for our Armed Forces on pay, housing and veterans’ welfare. 
Labour would lift the public pay sector cap and allow the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) to make recommendations on pay rises for our Armed Forces without that restriction
Labour’s defence policy is centred around our Forces, veterans and their families. After redundancies and years of pay restraint, morale amongst our dedicated Armed Forces personnel and their families has plummeted. The Tories need to invest in our personnel and show them they’re valued.  
There has been additional pressure put on the incomes of Forces families from increases in National Insurance, changes in tax credits and increases in rental charges for those in Service Family Accommodation. 
It is vital that a career in the Armed Forces continues to be attractive to our best and brightest. Crucial to this is ensuring that our Service Personnel are properly paid for the work they do and lifting the pay cap would allow that. 
We have seen historically high outflow rates and recruitment and retention problems in specific vocations, particularly pilots and engineers and Labour would re-examine retention and recruitment policies in order to combat this. 
Labour is committed to ensuring that there continues to be access to high standard, Service Family Accommodation at a reasonable cost for Service personnel. We will drive up standards in all Service Accommodation and take action where private companies have failed to deliver.
The Tories have made terrible decisions when it comes to Service accommodation and their new Future Accommodation Model has been a cause of concern for many Forces families. 
We would like to see much more consultation with Forces personnel and full and robust impact assessments of any proposed changes to Service accommodation; clear communication with Forces families must be a top priority throughout this process. Labour would consult with the individual services to give them greater autonomy over their housing choices and review the Forces Help to Buy scheme with a view to improving it.
Veterans are a huge part of the Forces community and Labour are proposing several measures to support service personnel in the transition back to civilian life and to legislate against discrimination against veterans.
No one should ever be discriminated against for their service in our Armed Forces and Labour would introduce an Armed Forces (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill within the first year of forming Government, legislating to outlaw discrimination against and abuse of members of the Armed Forces. 
We would increase support for our service personnel in their transition into civilian life and help address their needs by creating a Veteran’s Register. We would continue the roll out of Labour’s Veteran’s Interview Programme which works with businesses to guarantee an interview for ex- service personnel. 
Labour would launch the Homes Fit for Heroes initiative which will offer free home insulation for disabled veterans and continue to encourage businesses and community groups to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant. 
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“I’m backing calls to give our armed forces, veterans and families a better deal on pay, housing and welfare. They stand up for us every day, so let’s stand up for them”.

Stephen backs call for sprinkler installation

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South’s new Member of Parliament, has backed calls from the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for the installation of sprinkler systems in high-rise buildings.
The call has been backed following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, Kensington, and Stephen’s attendance at an important briefing on the fire for MPs last week and discussions in Parliament.
Earlier this week Dave Curry, Chief Officer for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, made a statement on the fire last week in London. 
He said:
“A week on, there is still a huge amount to be learned about the circumstances and contributing factors to the Grenfell Tower fire. 
A full investigation is now unfolding, with a public inquiry to follow, through which we will start to understand how this tragedy occurred and how we ensure there can be no repeat.
We have campaigned for the installation of sprinklers in high-rise buildings and I believe that, as a country, must now commit to the installation of these life-saving devices in all high-rise blocks”.
Speaking in support of the campaign Stephen said:
“In my first week as an MP I have been inundated with concerns from constituents about fire safety in our city. These concerns must be addressed.
I have written to the city council to ensure appropriate action is taken to assure communities, but I think government and local authorities must do more. Councils must be given the resources to assure communities and keep homes safe.
Time and again, experts tell us that sprinklers are the way to prevent the spread of fire in buildings and reduce the threat to life. That’s what we all want to see.
I welcome our Fire and Rescue Service’s intervention in this issue. Their proposals for sprinkler systems have my full support.”

Queen's Speech is threadbare

Despite all the challenges our great country faces, the Tories’ Queen’s Speech is a threadbare document from a weakened government. 
It shows that the Prime Minister is unable to put together a proper programme for the change our country so desperately needs.
Labour would bring forward a Queen’s Speech to offer the people of Britain hope. 
With a bold vision to build a Britain for the many not the few, we would invest in an economy that puts working people first; guarantee patients are seen in A&E within four hours and take one million people off waiting lists; give schools the resources they need to ensure every single child has the best start in life; and put more bobbies on the beat to keep our communities safe.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“The Tories record in government is one of falling living standards and a crisis in our public services. 
I am hugely disappointed by this lightweight Queen’s Speech. Enough is enough.
Labour would have addressed the big challenges our country faces head on offering a programme based on hope and opportunity for all. That’s what the people of Portsmouth deserve”.

Portsmouth joins the Great Get Together

Local people are coming together across Portsmouth this weekend in celebration of the tremendous work of Jo Cox who tragically lost her life one year ago.
Jo Cox, who was brutally murdered last year, who worked tirelessly to unite communities, famously said in her maiden speech in the House of Commons that “We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than that which divides us”.
Jo’s family and friends came up with the initiative to encourage communities to host events, and teamed up with The Big Lunch as part of their annual celebration. As a result thousands of community-led events are taking place across the country run by volunteers involving millions.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, Labour MP for Portsmouth South, said:
“I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet Jo but I have heard so much about her from my new colleagues. She was a phenomenal parliamentarian and community activist dedicated to uniting our communities, and always advocating for those in need.
She inspires me, and many others, day in, day out, to work hard for a fairer, more equal and more tolerant country – and a city founded on hope, not fear. There was so much Jo wanted to do. It now falls on us all to support and serve others with dignity and respect”.
Today Stephen visited two events in celebration of Jo’s life. A picnic with live music took place at Canoe Lake organised by local resident Jodie Coles, and a rose planting ceremony in the Southsea Rose Garden organised by Southsea Greenhouse’s Sue Stokes.
IMG_0571Speaking at the events, Stephen said:
“In respect of Jo, and in support of our great city of Portsmouth, this weekend please take inspiration from Jo’s work and offer something back to our communities.
Be that volunteering your time, speaking to a neighbour or a loved one, or giving what you can to a local good cause, together let us all work together to build an even better city”.
On Sunday also attend Great Get Together events at Fratton Community Centre and a street party in Rochester Road, Southsea.


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It's time our city gets the change it needs

On polling day, 8 June, Cllr Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South writes to fellow local people about the change our great city needs

Dear fellow resident,
Being from here, I know how great our city can be.
Over the years, Portsmouth has had many achievements. I remember getting the day off school for the Tour de France and going up Spinnaker Tower for the first time. I remember the sense of pride you always get when a naval ship returns to our dockyard, or seeing the fantastic service we get from staff who dedicate their lives to the NHS and our schools. People all across Portsmouth work day in, day out, to make our city unique.
But like any city, our city has its challenges too.
Too many patients are waiting to be seen by our health services. Too many families are struggling to make ends meet. Too many schools are seeing cuts to their budgets. Too many of our loved ones are not getting the care they need.
I’m not a politician parachuted in from elsewhere for a career in Westminster. I’m the local candidate who cares about our city and with a plan to meet those challenges head on.
The choice at this election is clear in Portsmouth South. Its a straight choice between the Tories and Labour.
Elect me as your MP today – Thursday 8 June – and I’ll always stand up for you and our city. Its time Portsmouth gets the change our great city needs.

A plan for our NHS

With polls opening in less than 24 hours, Labour is promising to breathe life back into the NHS after years of the Tories starving it of funds, running down our health workers and opening the door to full-scale privatisation.
Since 2016, almost two million people have waited longer than four hours in A&E, almost 450,000 have waited longer than four hours on trolleys and nearly 70,000 more people on waiting lists. Labour offers a plan to support our NHS, with a manifesto ensuring additional funding for the NHS.
The Conservatives have spent the last seven years running down our NHS, our proudest national institution. Our NHS cannot afford five more years of underfunding, understaffing and privatisation.
Labour will restore the NHS to be the envy of the world by: 

  • giving the NHS an extra £37 billion over the course of the next Parliament, including £10 billion of capital funding for NHS buildings and IT systems.
  • taking one million people off NHS waiting lists by the end of the Parliament, by guaranteeing access to treatment within 18 weeks.
  • guaranteeing patients can be seen in A&E within four hours.
  • creating a new £500 million Winter Pressures Fund to help ensure patients never have to experience a winter crisis like the one of recent months.
  • scrapping the public sector pay cap that has cut nurses’ pay by 14% in real terms since 2010, forcing some to need food banks to get by.

Cllr Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South, said:
“Labour will give our NHS the resources it needs to deliver the best possible care for patients, and end the attacks on our hardworking health workers, who care for us all.
In recent years we have already seen cuts to our NHS, our schools, our police and our social care services. This can’t go on. The Tory manifesto is a plan for five more years of cuts to services according to the IFS. We can’t allow this to happen.
Tomorrow on polling day we have the chance to change course and save our NHS, schools, social care and police services by electing me your MP in Portsmouth South.
I’ll always work hard to ensure investment in our city and to transform Britain for the many, not the few.”