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City MP calls for Clean Air Act at landmark environmental summit

Stephen Morgan MP has joined Labour’s call for a Clean Air Act in a bid to combat the impact of air pollution, following the Official Opposition’s first Clean Air Summit today.

The first summit of its kind to be hosted by a major party, Luke Pollard MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, set out the Party’s demands for a Clean Air Act.

The Clean Air Act would establish a legal right to breathe clean air by ensuring the law on air quality is at least as strict as WHO guidelines, with tough new duties on Ministers to enforce them and grant new powers to local authorities to take urgent action on air quality.

Even before the pandemic, air pollution represented a national health emergency resulting in an estimated 40,000 early deaths each year, costing the UK £20 billion annually.

Meanwhile in Portsmouth, there have been historic issues with dirty polluting air and campaigns to stop the Lib Dem-run council from rolling back the proposed clean air zone plans to finally address the challenge in the city.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said,

“We have had historic issues with air pollution in our city and Labour is taking national action to resolve this chronic issue we all face.

“The pandemic has shown us that public health is more important than ever. We need to take every step we can to improve the health of our nation, and that starts with cleaning up our polluted air.

“Our Clean Air Act would give public bodies the powers they need to take even further action and clean up our air for good.”

 

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Portsmouth MP demands government action to tackle violence against women, as local White Ribbon campaign launches

Stephen Morgan MP has demanded in the House of Commons today that the government takes further action to tackle violence against women and girls, as local ‘White Ribbon’ campaign launches this week.

The Portsmouth MP asked the Attorney General what specific action he was taking to ensure the recent spike in domestic abuse cases do not face the same fate in the number cases for rape that do not lead to prosecution.

It comes as this week the local White Ribbon campaign was launched by local community activists Charlotte Gerada and Kirsty Mellor, urging Portsmouth City Council to get behind its pledge to end male violence against women and have the mission for all men to never commit, excuse or remain silent about such crimes on women.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said,

“The tragic case of Sarah Everard has caused a public outcry against the continued and rising cases of violence and against women and girls.

“This behaviour, usually men’s, has no place in society and this must now be a turning point to see an end to this awful abuse and behaviour women are subjected to daily.

“I am proud to support the local White Ribbon campaign launched this week here in Portsmouth and thank Charlotte Gerada and Kirsty Mellor for their tireless efforts on this issue.

“I expect Portsmouth City Council to do the right thing now and adopt its pledge in full.”

The MP used the opportunity to mention the initiative in the House of Commons today during departmental questions to the Attorney General.

The Portsmouth South representative asked the Government to ensure cases related to domestic abuse and violence against women are properly heard and given due process, in light of the Crown Court backlog now at an all-time record high of more than 56,000 cases.

Meanwhile, victims of crime are being asked to wait up to 4 years to get to court and many victims and witnesses are dropping entirely because of delays, risking violent criminals being spared prison because of this.

Mr Morgan previously joined Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service’s (PARCS) campaign to ‘shrink the elephant’, that aims to raise awareness of issues surrounding sexual abuse and challenge cultural norms that perpetuate abuse.

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‘Government levelling up agenda failing’ says local MP as pupils in class sizes over 30 continue to rise

Stephen Morgan MP has said the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda is failing as new analysis reveals that one in thirteen pupils in Portsmouth are in class sizes over 30.

The new analysis from Labour has shown that since 2010, the number of pupils in classes over 30 in Portsmouth has increased by 233.

This picture is reflected nationally, with Labour analysis of House of Commons data, showing that since 2010:

  • The number of secondary pupils in classes of 31 or more has risen from one in ten to almost one in seven pupils
  • The number of primary pupils in classes of 31 or more has risen from one in nine to one in eight pupils

In Portsmouth, disadvantaged pupils are falling behind their peers in their learning and development, with those in early years five months behind, primary students over ten months behind and secondary students nearly two years behind (23.6 months).

To tackle these inequalities, Labour has launched a new ‘Bright Future Taskforce’ to deliver a long-term strategy for children’s recovery and ensure every child has the chance to fulfil their potential.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Over the last decade the Conservatives have made the wrong choices for children in Portsmouth, overseeing an increase in class sizes and failing to tackle the gap in learning which is holding children back. 

“Labour has launched our Bright Future Taskforce to tackle the damage done by these policies ensuring every child can recover from the pandemic and achieve their potential.”

Upon many students in Portsmouth returning to school last week, Mr Morgan joined Labour’s call for breakfast clubs to recover lost learning as students return.

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Stephen Morgan MP: Why I am voting against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

The tragic death of Sarah Everard has instigated a national demand for action to tackle violence against women.

Women should be able to feel safe they leave their home. But men’s behaviour towards women continues to stop that from being a reality. Sarah Everard’s case and the spike in domestic abuse cases this past year have shown a turning point is desperately needed.

The last thing the government should be doing is rushing through poorly thought-out measures to impose disproportionate controls on free expression and the right to protest.

The Bill includes a new criminal offence to tackle “unauthorised encampments” targeting traveller communities, new laws to break up protests if they merely cause ‘serious annoyance’, as well as the frankly backward provision that increases the penalty of damaging a statue to 10 years, but meanwhile the current minimum sentence for rape only being five years.

Now is the time to unite the country and put in place on long overdue protections for women against unacceptable violence, including action against domestic homicides, rape and street harassment – as well as tackling the misogynistic attitudes that underpin the abuse women face.

Instead, the government has brought forward a Bill that is seeking to divide the country. It is a mess, which could lead to harsher penalties for damaging a statue than for attacking a woman.

That is why I will be voting against the Bill.

Labour is calling on the government to drop its poorly thought-out proposals and instead work across party to legislate to tackle violence against women which is forcing so many across the country to live in fear.

We will also look to work with the government to deliver the important areas that have long been promised, like tougher sentences for attacks on frontline workers and increased sentences for terrorists.

Stephen Morgan MP

 

Information on the Bill and Labour’s perspective:

Tackling violence against women

  • In its once in a generation sentencing reform bill, the government should work with Labour to tackle the crisis of violence against women that is forcing women across the country to live in fear.
  • Rather than using legislation to try and divide the country, the government should seek to unify people against this endemic violence.
  • They should start by increasing minimum sentences for the most serious criminals like stalkers and rapists, while working to drive up the appallingly low levels of convictions for sexual violence and domestic abuse.
  • Labour has outlined a package of measures that it argues should be included in the “once in a generation” chance for sweeping reforms to sentencing and protections for women and girls. The measures Labour proposes include increasing the minimum sentences for rapists and stalkers, creating a new street harassment law, introducing a Whole Life Tariff for anyone found guilty of abduction and sexual assault and murder of a stranger, announcing a Review to toughen up sentences for domestic murderers and making misogyny a hate crime.
  • Tackling the misogyny that drives this violence and helping to end the intimidation and harassment so many women experience daily is long overdue. Violence against women and girls comes in many forms – from harassment or abuse in workplaces, public spaces and the home, through to serious violence such as rape and homicide. The government should work with Labour to promote campaigns that target and educate perpetrators to change behaviours, highlighting examples of good practice and encouraging reporting by bystanders and third parties.
  • The government could be making these changes in the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill. Now is the time to act.

Creating a new street harassment law:

  • The details will follow in our amendment which we will lay after Second Reading. However, this will be based on the law France introduced in 2018.
  • In France public harassment – including things like catcalling, unwanted sexual attention or degrading comments – can result in an on-the-spot fine (in France this is €750).
  • The law has been successfully implemented in France – within the first year, there were more than 450 fines issued.

On tougher sentences for rape and stalking:

  • The detail of this will follow when Labour lays its amendments after second reading.
  • We want to increase the minimum sentences for rape, which is currently too low at 5 years.
  • We want to increase the minimum sentences for those who have carried the most serious types of stalking and harassment which includes fear of violence and who have carried out their acts with the specific intention of causing maximum fear and distress to their victims.

Isn’t the minimum sentence for rapists is already being extended in the bill?

  • No. The government has outlined measures that would mean those who get discretionary life sentences (not all those convicted of rape) spend longer in jail before becoming eligible for parole and being released on license – it isn’t changing the length of their sentence as such.
  • Labour’s proposal is specific to rape and increases the minimum sentence for anyone found guilty of rape.

On Whole Life Tariff for abduction and sexual assault and murder of a stranger:

  • Labour proposes amending clauses 101/ 102 of the bill to add a Whole Life Tariff for anyone found guilty of “abduction and sexual assault and murder of a stranger”.
  • Someone who abducts, assaults and murders a victim with a certain amount of pre-medication should be eligible for a Whole Life Order.
  • We must properly protect women, be tough on sentencing crimes that disproportionately happen to women.

Domestic Homicide

  • The current approach to sentencing seems to forget the context in which many female victims are killed; in the home with a weapon taken from that location. The minimum tariff in such cases is 15 years whereas it’s 25 if a weapon is brought to the scene of a crime. Similarly, the emphasis placed on the use of ‘weapons’ – an aggravating factor – forgets that in many DA circumstances (taking into account the common differences in strengths between victim and perpetrator) fists or hands for strangulation, are all the weaponry needed. This is symbolic of a systemic problem – that VAWG seems to be seen as less serious than other forms of violence.
  • Labour is calling for an Independent Review to look at increasing sentences for domestic homicide, as well as looking into implementing a Statutory Defence for Domestic Abuse Survivors.

Making misogyny a hate crime

  • Labour proposes adding misogyny to the list of hate crimes, alongside those that are homophobic, biphobic and transphobic, or based on race, disability or religion.
  • Hate crime is criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility, or demonstrates hostility, towards a characteristic of the victim. It is not the same as ‘free speech’ which requires both parties to be able to equally participate and engage. A hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property.
  • Following an amendment to the Upskirting Bill, the Government instructed the Law Commission to carry out a review of all hate crime, and to consider incorporating misogyny as a new category for hate crime. They note there were 67,000 incidents of hate crime based on sex in 2018 – 57,000 of which were targeted at women. Without recognising the role of misogyny in the experiences of women, our legal and criminal justice system masks the true extent of hostility based on sex.
  • 11 out of 43 police constabularies in England and Wales have made misogyny a hate crime, trialed the policy or are actively considering implementing it.

Police Covenant

  • It has taken the Government nearly three years from inception to putting this onto the statute books – three years when our Police have needed support.
  • In May 2018, the then Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, at the Police Federation Annual Conference created a formal Frontline Review to hear from ideas and feedback from frontline policing.
  • In July 2019, a Home Office report outlined that more needed to be done to support police officers and staff. The Home Office subsequently announced a police covenant.
  • In September 2019, the current Home Secretary, announced consultation into the police covenant.
  • The police covenant has finally being introduced into this Bill.
  • It also requires that the Home Secretary make an annual report to Parliament addressing the key issues on physical; protection, health and wellbeing and support for families.

Assaults on Emergency Service Workers – ‘Protect the Protectors’

  • The initial offence on assaults on emergency service workers was spearhead by Chris Bryant MP in his Private Members Bill that received Royal Assent in 2018. He was supportive with his Bill by Holly Lynch MP, who has been a strong advocate of protecting our protectors for several years.
  • The Private Members Bill made assaults on emergency service workers an offence that with a successful conviction would result in a prison sentence up to 12 months or a fine, or both. It also added that these assaults could be used as an aggravating factor when brought together with other offences.
  • Emergency Service workers are defined as constable, PCSO, Police staff, National Crime Agency Officer, prison officer, prison custody officer, custody officer, fire and rescue service, those that provide search and rescue services, those that provide NHS services.
  • This Private Members Bill had support from across the House. During the passage of the Bill it was argued by Labour’s Chris Bryant and Holly Lynch that the sentence should be 2 years rather than 12 months.
  • The Conservative Government Minister, Rory Stewart, stated that:

“Let me say that one issue about increasing the sentence to 24 months is that we would, in effect, be saying that somebody who assaults an emergency worker or police officer receives not twice but four times the maximum sentence that would be received were the attack to be on an “ordinary” victim. Is there not a question of proportionality in terms of the relationship between the equality of citizens in general and their right to be protected as victims, and the special status of a uniformed officer, if it is suggested that an increment of four is better than that of two?”

  • However, two years after this Bill received Royal Assent the Conservative Government decided that a consultation was needed to increase the maximum sentence to 2 years, something that had been argued and supported by Labour.

The Lammy Review

The Lammy Review (2017) set out 35 recommendations to address racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system. Since then, the government has adopted a handful of the recommendations in full, as well as implementing some other recommendations in part. The Labour party is calling for the government to implement the Lammy Review in full – and go further – to address the disproportionality that runs across the criminal justice system. In the PCSC Bill, the government addresses some issues highlighted in the Lammy Review.

While these modest reforms are welcome, the Labour party thinks the government must go significantly further by implementing the Lammy Review in full. Meanwhile on many other of its measures the PCSC Bill will make disproportionality significantly worse.

The pilot of problem-solving courts

  • Problem solving courts consider alternatives to prison sentences, by using the complaints process as an opportunity to fix problems, not simply make judgements about wrong-doing. The Lammy Review discussed the importance of a ‘problem-solving’ approach in courts as well as prisons. For example, an investigation may conclude that the complainant had had property stolen, but not due to prejudice. A problem-solving approach would not just deliver a verdict, but ensure that the property is returned swiftly and make recommendations about how to avoid a repeat of the problem in the future. A simple way of encouraging this approach would be for all complainants to state what they want to happen as a result of the investigation. Labour welcomes the government’s pilot of problem-solving courts.

Reform of the criminal records disclosure regime

  • The disclosure of criminal records plays an important part in protecting the public, particularly children and vulnerable adults. However, the disclosure regime must balance the need to protect the public while promoting offender rehabilitation and respecting an individual’s right to privacy.
  • The Lammy Review recommended reform of the criminal records regime. Given the disproportionality of the outcomes of the criminal justice system, criminal records have a disproportionate impact on Black, Asian, and ethnic minority people’s future employment. The PCSC Bill proposes limited criminal records/DBS reform, by reducing disclosure periods of certain offences. Labour welcomes these measures, however calls for the government to go further, by introducing a system whereby criminal records can be sealed from employers.
  • The final report of the Lammy Review, published in 2017, recommended that “individuals should be able to have their case heard by a judge or a body like the Parole Board, which would then decide to seal their record”. The report also recommended the UK Government should commission a study on the costs of unemployment among ex-offenders to ensure the public understands the case for reforming the criminal records regime.
  • Crucially, those who cannot demonstrate they have changed would not have their records sealed. Neither would those whose crimes are so serious – be they violent or sex-related – that the judgment body deems their record relevant to employers. Secondly, sealing criminal records from employers does not mean they are sealed in all contexts. Records would still show in situations involving children and vulnerable people, as well as specific work contexts that require high levels of security clearance. Crucially, police and courts would still have access to an ex-offender’s record. The aim of Labour’s proposals is to replace a blunt instrument with a more flexible approach in order to reflect the complexity of criminal justice.

Recognising the remand of children as a last resort

  • Individuals held on remand are awaiting court hearings after being charged with an offence. Remand in youth justice shows some of the highest levels of disproportionality in the criminal justice system. 87% of children held in custody on remand in London are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background. In England and Wales, the figures show the percentage of BAME children is 57%, while 33% were black. BAME people account for 15.5% of the population in England.
  • Labour welcomes the measures in the Bill to amend the LASPO framework to tighten the tests the courts must satisfy to decide when to remand a child to custody. We agree with the policy is to encourage courts to impose custodial remand only where absolutely necessary, while ensuring the public remains safe.

Increases of Sentencing

Whole Life Orders extended to cover the premeditated murder of a child.

  • Labour agrees with the government that this is an appropriate increase in sentencing to recognize the seriousness of the crime.

Increasing the sentences for certain young adults who kill.

  • The tragic murder of Ellie Gould highlights the failure of the justice system to impose strict enough sentences on those who murder in a domestic setting. The current approach to sentencing seems to forget the context in which many female victims are killed; in the home with a weapon taken from that location. The minimum tariff in such cases is 15 years whereas it’s 25 if a weapon is brought to the scene of a crime. Similarly, the emphasis placed on the use of ‘weapons’ – an aggravating factor –  forgets that in many DA circumstances (taking into account the common differences in strengths between victim and perpetrator) fists or hands for strangulation, are all the weaponry needed. This is symbolic of a systemic problem – that VAWG seems to be seen as less serious than other forms of violence. Labour welcomes the fact that under the proposals sentences will be increased for killers like that of Ellie Gould. However, we argue the government must go further to address inadequate sentencing on domestic homicide.

Toughening sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving.

  • Death by dangerous driving continues to take too many innocent lives. Labour welcomes the government’s proposals to increase sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving. Stephanie Peacock MP deserves praises for her work campaigning to increase the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving. This will help dissuade people from taking unnecessary risks.

Widening laws which prevent adults in ‘positions of trust’ from engaging in sexual relationships with young people under 18.

  • Sarah Champion MP highlighted the issue of the loophole in the law that allows for adults working in a position of trust to have sex with 16 and 17 year olds. Whilst it is rightly illegal for teachers and social workers to have sex with the 16 and 17 year olds they work with, this is presently not the case for sports coaches and faith leaders. Due to the power imbalances in these relationships, this allows for prolific sexual offenders to use their position to groom children for sexual purposes. Labour welcomes the government’s proposals to close these loopholes and praises Sarah Champion for highlighting this injustice.

 

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Integrated Review: Shadow Defence Minister says government ‘cannot continue to neglect’ Service Personnel

Shadow Armed Forces Minister and Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan has said the Armed Forces cannot continue to be neglected by the government, after it published its major defence and security policy review today.

The Prime Minister announced in Parliament this afternoon his conclusions of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, which has been conducted by the government over the past year.

However, amongst other broader priorities set out in the quinquennial government defence and foreign policy review, it has announced in the paper plans to ‘reshape’ the Armed Forces and ‘develop more capabilities – people, skills and equipment – that can be used across a range of scenarios.’

The Portsmouth South MP has recognised in principle the need to modernise the UK Armed Forces to equip them to respond to present and future threats, but has cast serious doubts over the government’s ability to deliver, pointing to its track record on full-time UK personnel numbers and defence spending plans announced in last year’s Spending Review.

As of January 2021, the UK full-time Armed Forces strength fell short of its 2015 SDSR targets across as all services, with the full-time trained strength of the UK Armed Forces 135,444, a shortfall of 8,756 (6%) against the government’s own target of 144,200.

In last year’s Spending Review, the government also revealed that it plans to cut day-to-day spending by 2.7% in real terms over the next 4 years, despite plans to invest £16.5bn in projects, but with no clear resource to support and maintain them.

In addition, the National Audit Office has also reported there could be as high as a £17.4bn funding shortfall in the government’s equipment plan for 2020 to 2030.

The Shadow Defence Minister and Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented:

“This government and its Tory predecessors have continually allowed for our Armed forces to be neglected – numbers down, pay down and morale down.

“The government talks of ‘reshaping’ our Armed Forces in this review, but this cannot be code for continuing to repeat the mistakes of the past and not meeting its targets for full-time UK Armed Forces numbers, as well as failing to provide them with the support and equipment they need.

“Service personnel have shown this year that they continue to be one of our greatest assets when it comes to dealing with serious threats posed to our country, but a cut to many of our troops’ pay and the continued neglect they have faced raises serious questions whether the government will be true to its word.”

Earlier this month, Mr Morgan criticised the real terms pay cut to Armed Forces personnel earning over £18,000.

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Portsmouth MP demands government give veterans access to ‘state-of-the-art’ care facility

Shadow Armed Forces Minister Stephen Morgan MP has pushed the government in the House of Commons today to face-up to its commitment to give veterans access to a world-class treatment centre for those with serious injuries.

The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre has reportedly seen only twenty-two people in the last three years, despite the government’s commitment to give access to veterans who need it.

However, government has faced criticism from veterans’ charities such as Help for Heroes that “it is not an efficient process” and wants ex-servicemen and women with other issues to be given access.

It comes as the Portsmouth MP is leading the Official Opposition’s response to Armed Forces Bill as it passes through Bill select committee, with its aims to enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant into law and improve veterans’ welfare.

Stephen Morgan, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South and Shadow Defence Minister, said:

“This state-of-the-art facility has tremendous potential to afford seriously injured personnel and veterans the healthcare they need, but just 22 veterans being treated at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in the last three years is just not good enough.

“If the government is serious about improving veterans’ welfare, giving proper access to treatment facilities that were designed to help them would be the common sense thing to do.

“I will continue to push the Minister on this, and I look forward to an update on the government’s progress.”

Mr Morgan recently criticised the Chancellor for handing a real-terms pay cut to many currently serving Armed Forces personnel in the government Budget announced earlier this month and is pushing for a range of measures to support service personnel, veterans and their families.

 

 

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City MP demands the Health Secretary ‘steps up and delivers’ for local NHS nurses

Stephen Morgan MP has called on the Health Secretary on behalf of the Royal College of Nursing to deliver on pay and other priorities for local nurses.

The action follows the Portsmouth MP meeting local nurses and their representatives to hear their experiences and insights into the challenges they are facing, both now and before the pandemic.

It comes as the government issued a real terms pay cut to over 23,000 key workers in Portsmouth, outlined during the Chancellor’s Budget announcement last week, many of which will be nurses who have been working on the front line of the national battle against COVID-19.

The local parliamentary representative has written to the government demanding assurances on behalf of local nurses in Portsmouth and the wider region on a range of issues raised with him, including:

  • accountability for workforce supply and planning in law
  • nursing higher education
  • and fair pay.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, commented:

“Our NHS nurses have for too long been let down by this government. They were doing a phenomenal job before this pandemic but stepped up in our hour of need in the face of adversity.

“There are issues here that existed long before the arrival of COVID-19, which have been continually ignored by government, but to then issue a real-terms pay cut to our nurses in last week’s Budget is completely unacceptable.

“I will continue to take action to ensure our local nurses get the answers they need from Ministers.”

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Portsmouth MP calls government out on ‘withheld funds’ for city port

Stephen Morgan MP called for the government to provide answers in the House of Commons today on why Portsmouth International Port was not afforded the funding it needs to complete post-Brexit preparations.

Portsmouth International Port applied for £32m of funding in October from the government’s Port Infrastructure Fund, to prepare for new customs arrangements that are set to come in this July, allowing it to adapt to the government’s own new Border Operating Model.

However, the city port was only handed £17.1m of what it asked for – leaving a very large of shortfall of almost £15m.

Meanwhile, the government has also so far ignored the port’s further request for funding for the new Border Control Points, and without it, they will have no facility to use to check the 30,000 breeding animals that are expected to come through each year.

Portsmouth’s local authority owned port contributes around £135m to Portsmouth’s local economy, over 1420 local jobs as well as close to £390m to the national economy each year.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“Our port contributes around £390m to the national economy each year, so it is frankly absurd that government continues to slow the port’s progress to adapt to its own new Border Operating Model.

“Government cannot continue to chronically underfund our local council, but meanwhile expect it to cough up the cash for this huge infrastructure project. It just is not realistic.

“The Minister for EU negotiations has the power and influence to resolve this, so I expect to hear how they plan to fix this problem very shortly, with no answers forthcoming from the Transport Minister today.”

Mr Morgan has been working closely with the city port to support its funding needs, writing to Ministers in December demanding further funding for the port to prepare for post-Brexit trade.

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City MP hosts summit with Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall MP on the future of social care

Stephen Morgan MP is set to host a social care public meeting with Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care Liz Kendall MP on Monday 22 March, 6.30pm-7.30pm.

The online event, which is open to all, will discuss the impact of the pandemic on social care and why social care is set to be this generation’s next challenge.

According to The Kings Fund, only around a quarter of people who have requested some of form of social care are actually assessed as eligible for formal short-term or long-term care.

Meanwhile according to Portsmouth CCG, there is a 69.5% estimated dementia prevalence rate in persons aged 65 and over of the Portsmouth population, underlining the importance of the local provision of social care with the continued trend of an aging general population.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

This crisis has shone a spotlight on the already chronic issues we are experiencing as a country, no less so than the challenge of the provision of social care.

“It is clear social care is one of our generation’s next great challenges, which is why Labour’s mission is to transform care to make our city and the wider country the best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in.

“Liz Kendall has done a phenomenal job in her role as Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care and I look forward to Portsmouth people hearing her insights on this important issue that impacts our city’s families.”

The event will take place on Zoom, is free, and open to all. You can sign up for the meeting here.

 

 

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Portsmouth MP blasts Chancellor for pay cut to over 23,000 local NHS heroes and key workers

Stephen Morgan MP has condemned the Chancellor’s decision to NHS heroes with a real-terms pay cut this year, as well as other key workers who have kept the country going throughout the pandemic, following new analysis from the Official Opposition.

The new analysis reveals the cut would hit over 23,000 key workers in Portsmouth – the nurses, teachers, police officers and Armed Forces personnel on the front line of the battle against COVID-19.

On Thursday, the Government revealed that they intend to cut the pay of all NHS staff relative to inflation this year.

This comes after the Chancellor announced a ‘pay freeze’ for all other public sector workers earning above £24,000 in 2021-22. Those earning less than £24,000 were promised “a fixed increase of £250”.

Taking into account inflation over the next fiscal year, that means every non-NHS public sector worker earning over £18,000 will also get a real-terms pay cut.

In Portsmouth, this means 1615 teachers will see their pay cut, as well as over 15,000 police officers in the wider region and over 90% of the 38,000 Armed Forces personnel also based in the South East.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said

“Our key workers and NHS heroes have kept our city going through this crisis, but instead of rewarding them, the Chancellor has hidden in the detail of his Budget a real-terms cut to their pay.

“It is both a morally and economically irresponsible decision: if families have less money to spend, then our local businesses will suffer and only prolong Portsmouth’s recovery from this crisis.

“The Chancellor must think again, and cancel plans to cut Universal Credit, hike council tax and cut pay for nurses, police officers, teachers and our Armed Forces personnel.”

Last week Mr Morgan also criticised the Chancellor for the late extension of furlough and business support schemes, as well the rise in council tax bills for many across Portsmouth.