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New charter for arts another positive plan for Portsmouth

Eddie Izzard joined Stephen Morgan on the campaign trail to back Labour’s new charter for the arts as part of its commitment to transform the country.

Labour promises support the arts at the “heart of government” with £1bn of new investment in a renewed cultural strategy.

Welcoming the proposals, 2017 winner Stephen Morgan, standing for re-election as Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, brought Eddie Izzard to the city to promote the positive plan for our city’s communities.

The Arts for All policy charter sets out a comprehensive programme of support for Britain’s arts and culture sector, promising to radically expand access and increase funding for the arts.

Labour’s new charter for the arts sets out ambitious plans to:

• Invest £1billion to transform the UK’s cultural landscape by upgrading and building new libraries, museums, galleries and arts venues across the country
• Invest £175 million a year in an arts pupil premium to give every primary school student in the country access to creative and cultural experiences
• Launch a new ‘Town of Culture’ competition
• Invest £1 billion in Youth Services
• Maintain free access to national museums and galleries
• Introduce greater transparency in lottery funding and ensure grants are shared out fairly between all our communities

Eddie Izzard said:

“The cohesive affect that the arts have on our communities could not be more needed at this time of uncertainty and division.

Only Labour have a manifesto pledge to recognise this and I sincerely hope that Portsmouth South residents back Stephen Morgan as the only candidate to carry on the vital work that he has been doing for the city.”

Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth deserves a government with a wide-ranging programme and unwavering commitment to support and fund the arts.

I want to ensure that every child in every part of our city and our country has the opportunity to learn an instrument, engage with the arts and develop their creativity.

I am really pleased proper funding for the arts will be central to Labour’s commitment in Government to enable Portsmouth people to lead more enjoyable and fulfilling lives.”

This follows local authority funding cuts meaning that national portfolio organisation funding has fallen by £14 million in the past year, according to new data from Arts Council England.

The 649 applicable organisations in ACE’s portfolio received £113.3 million in funding from local councils in 2016/17, down 11% from £127.5 million the previous year.

In Government, the party would establish a co-ordinating committee for arts and culture working across government departments to drive a national cultural renewal.

Eddie Izzard then joined Stephen Morgan and hundreds of local Labour activists at a major public event hosted at a local business.

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Only Stephen Morgan can beat the Tories in Portsmouth South

Two new separate polls, one commissioned by YouGov and one by BestForBritain, have put Stephen Morgan as the clear frontrunner in Portsmouth South for the General Election in two week’s time. The polls blow the Liberal Democrats out of the water by an impressive margin in the two-way marginal seat – meaning the only way to beat the Tories again is by voting Labour.

The two polls, independently commissioned and from neutral organisations, rely on scientific data and successfully predicted both the 2017 General election and also recent by-elections.

Responding to the polls, Stephen Morgan said:

“I welcome not one, but two independent and recent polls putting me as the clear frontrunner in Portsmouth South. This only reaffirms what my team is hearing on the doorstep each day, that I am the only candidate able to beat the Tories here again.

These two separate polls were not commissioned or paid for by any party. They are based on scientific sampling by experts and are the same polls that predicted the result in the 2017 General Election and the same polls that predicted recent by-election results.

As someone born and bred in Portsmouth, I am heartened to see the community is behind me when it comes to beating the Tories again.”

These two polls differ greatly from a poll commissioned and paid for by the Liberal Democrats which was funded through private party funds. Their poll undertaken over a month ago has been widely criticised for the tiny sample size and lack of respondents from the city’s younger generation.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth people want someone who is standing up against school cuts, campaigning to get more bobbies on the beat, taking action over climate change, securing funding for QA hospital and taking action over reductions to the services we all rely on. The polling confirms that I am the only candidate that fits the bill.

I’m standing on a record of delivery, and a promise or more, always putting Portsmouth first. I hope to carry on my vital work after Thursday 12 December to ensure that Portsmouth people have a local born and bred MP standing up for our city in Parliament. “

As the only candidate who has already represented the city as an MP, Stephen Morgan has an impressive track record when it comes to standing up for his city. From lobbying to get a Naval dry facility worth £1bn to the local economy to visiting every school in his patch, he has been an active local campaigner and strong national voice.

The candidate is backed by Best for Britain, People’s Vote, Vote for a Final Say, For Our Future’s Sake and More United. Tactical voting sites supporting remain candidates are also lending their weight to Stephen Morgan’s re-election.

Details of the independent poll are as follows:

MRP, Best For Britain (November 2019)

38.5% Labour
30% Conservative
23% Liberal Democrat

MRP, YouGov (November 2019)

42% Labour
35% Tory
16% Liberal Democrat

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Shadow Communities Secretary and Shadow Treasury Minister visit Portsmouth to back Stephen Morgan

Today, 2017 General Election Winner Stephen Morgan welcomed two front bench big hitters to his home city. Andrew Gwynne (Shadow Communities Secretary) and Lyn Brown (Shadow Treasury Minister), both Labour grandees, visited Portsmouth to declare their support for Stephen ahead of the 2019 General Election.

The visit began with Stephen Morgan, alongside Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne, presenting a cheque outside the civic offices denoting the amount that the Conservatives and Lib Dem’s had cut from Portsmouth City Council’s budget.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Under the Tories and Lib Dems our city has been consistently neglected, ignored and forgotten. £73 million pounds has been slashed from our budgets and it Portsmouth people who are paying the price. Rising homelessness with thousands on the council waiting list, less school funding and a social care crisis.

Tory cuts, which have been deliberately targeted at the poorest areas of the country, have plunged our councils into crisis and pushed many services to breaking point. Decades of privatisation and outsourcing have hollowed out council capacity, taken money out of communities and undermined democratic accountability.”

Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for services we all rely on and local authorities across the country.

He has grilled Government Ministers in parliament demanding an end to cuts, spoken out in debates, written to council officers thanking them for their services, specifically taken action over cuts to city schools by bringing teachers up to parliament and visited 10 Downing Street to raise awareness of the damage local government reductions are doing.

Shadow Communities Secretary, Andrew Gwynne said:

“It is evident from speaking to people on the doorstep today with Stephen that he is doing an outstanding job in representing the concerns of his constituents.

I know first-hand how much he cares for his community through our work together in the Shadow Communities team and I sincerely hope that he is able to continue his vital efforts for Portsmouth South following the General election.

Portsmouth needs an MP with a track record of fighting the city’s corner, Stephen has consistently gone above and beyond and is the only person capable of beating the Tories in Portsmouth South.”

Stephen Morgan said:

“I am delighted to back Labour’s manifesto commitment to reverse the Tory decade of austerity for local government and our aim to restore council spending powers to 2010 levels over the lifetime of the Parliament.

While those who make decisions in Whitehall can seem distant and detached, our local councillors live among us, shopping on the same high street, using the same parks and leisure centres and sending their children to the same schools.

It is essential that they are given adequate power, funding and resource from central Government so that they can look out for our communities.”

Stephen Morgan then lobbied the Shadow Communities Secretary along with the Treasury Minister urging proper funding for Portsmouth.
The visit culminated in the Labour representative chatting to local residents on the doorstep with Stephen Morgan.

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Labour announce major NHS pledge backed by Stephen Morgan

Labour, the party who created the NHS, has once again shown that they are the only party willing to take action to secure its future. Supported by Stephen Morgan, Labour have announced a major funding pledge for our NHS. This will include:

– £26 billion (£40 billion in cash terms) for the NHS
– More funding to tackle growing waiting lists, A&E and improve cancer care
– Raising capital investment by £15 billion to clear repair bill, transform mental health wards, more state of art equipment especially MRI & CT scanners; Extra investment for mental health services to give it biggest priority ever
– £1 billion in staff training, bringing back bursary for 28,000 extra nurses, midwives, health visitors, 5,000 extra GPs
– £1 billion boost for public health to reverse public health cuts

Stephen is no stranger to standing up for our NHS services, he said:

“Since winning in the 2017 election I made every effort to advocate on behalf of staff and patients alike.

Helping to secure £58 m of funding for QA Hospital, pounding the wards with local NHS staff, grilling Mr Johnson over medicine shortages during PMQ’s and holding to account these responsible for the NHS dental practice closures. This is my record of delivery.

I have so much more to do and so much more to give, in order to that, I need to be continue fighting Portsmouth’s corner and being a voice for our city in Parliament.”

The funding plan comes as experts warn the NHS is heading into one of the worst winters ever with hospitals already reporting ‘black alerts’ with heart-breaking scenes of patients, often elderly, languishing on trolleys.

Stephen said:

“Labour created the NHS. It is only Labour who can ensure its legacy. Following a decade of Conservative and Lib Dem Government’s wantonly hacking bits off our most cherished service, it is high time we had a party that put people above profit.

That is why I am delighted that Labour have announced a £40 bn funding injection so that we can tackle long wait times at hospitals like QA, improve cancer care and tackle issues with A&E”

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“Young people have most at stake in this election, I urge them to take control of their future and register to vote” – Stephen Morgan speaks out to urge voter registration

Stephen Morgan joins the ranks of international celebrities in promoting the latest social media “challenge”, as Labour launches Youth Manifesto with votes for 16-17 year olds and new £1 billion pledge for youth services

Stephen Morgan and Amanda Martin joined Lily Allen and MIA today by getting involved with the latest social media “challenge”, the #VoterRegChallenge.

Mr Morgan said:

“This election will shape not just the future of our city but our nation.

Brexit, climate change, funding for our NHS and Schools. This is what is at stake. For first time voters, the generation of tomorrow, this is the opportunity to directly influence the world they live in.

I urge every young person to get out, register and be part of the biggest general election this nation has faced in modern times.”

Social media users on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have been posting 15 second videos telling their followers why they’re registering to vote, before nominating three friends to do the same.

The Labour Party has published “The Future is Ours” – a manifesto for young people which will include an additional £1 billion of investment in youth services and the party’s commitment to votes at 16.

Labour has announced an additional £1 billion in annual revenue expenditure for youth services, twenty times the £50 million previously announced by the government. This will build a properly funded, professionally staffed National Youth Service, and will guarantee every young person has access to local, high-quality youth work.

Labour will double the annual capital expenditure for youth services that the government has committed to, investing an additional £250 million to build up to 500 new youth centres.

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Stephen Morgan endorsed by More United, putting the country first before party politics

Stephen Morgan has been selected by More United as an ambassador of political fair play following his consistent choice to rise above mud-slinging and reluctance to engage in tit-for-tat game playing.

The Labour candidate has the support of the campaign group, as he seeks re-election as the MP for Portsmouth South, his home constituency.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Clean honest and frank politics. That is what Portsmouth people deserve. I am glad that More United have taken into account my track record of refusing to use divisive language and backed me as a local candidate.

I am proud to be endorsed by More United, a cross-party movement making politics less extreme and less tribal. If we want to heal a divided Britain, politicians must work across party lines to come together beyond the election and put the national interest first to move the country forward.”

More United aims to crowdfund £250,000 over the course of the election and recruit a national network of volunteers who will turn out to support candidates locally. The unique model aims to elect more progressive candidates from different parties to shift the balance of parliament away from extremism and reform politics.”

Tabitha Morton, CEO of More United said:

“This election we have an ambitious plan to flood Parliament with MPs who care more about the country’s issues than party tribalism. MPs who care more about compromise than their own careers.

By coming together to back these candidates who will work to find common ground, put country above party, and raise the bar in Parliament, we can build a better politics.”

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Stephen Morgan backs Labour’s pledge to offer free dental check-ups for all following long running action over patient access in Portsmouth

Labour is announcing plans to provide free NHS dental check-ups for everyone in England. Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to taking action over patient access to dental services in his city, following the closure of 3 city practises and has welcomed his party’s announcement.

Scrapping band one dentistry charges will give everyone a free teeth MOT with their dentist, including checks for oral cancers, while also taking pressure off GPs and hospitals.

Stephen 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.

I welcome Labour’s pledge to offer free check ups to everyone which will both benefit the health of Portsmouth people and save people going to the NHS A&E departments with preventable issues.”

The measures, are part of Labour’s plans to focus on prevention and provide a truly universal NHS and moving towards providing dental services free at the point of use. Labour’s full pledge on NHS England funding will be laid out in our forthcoming fully-costed manifesto and this funding will come in addition to the £26bn announced by Labour earlier this week.

Stephen 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.

I have a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for Portsmouth patient access. Hosting urgent meetings with NHS England to get to the root of the closures in Portsmouth, meeting the British Dental Association in parliament, grilling Ministers in Westminster, visiting dental academies in our city.

Labour and I have pledged to do more for oral healthcare, but do that we need your support on the 12 December.”

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“It’s shocking that so called ‘DIY Dentistry’ is becoming so common with people resorting to doing their own fillings and seriously risking their teeth deteriorating further.

With 135,000 patients presenting at A&E with dental problems every year, it’s time we put prevention at the heart of our approach to dental health.
“People should not be risking their teeth because they can’t afford the care. With Labour, dental check-up fees will be scrapped as we help people live healthier lives.”

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British Broadband: Candidate backs Labour’s mission to connect communities across Britain by delivering free full fibre broadband for all

In a major announcement Labour have set out plans to deliver free full fibre broadband for all by bringing parts of BT into public ownership and creating a new British Broadband public service.

According to research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a full-fibre broadband network could boost productivity by £59 billion by 2025; bring half a million people back into the workforce; and boost rural economies, with an estimated 270,000 people more able to move to rural areas.

The Labour party announced the policy, describing the new free public service as central to the parties plans to transform our country and economy.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Bringing Portsmouth together and making a more inclusive society, that is our objective.
Portsmouth has a thriving community of independent bussiensses’, it is the responsibility of Government to support them in their success, key to this is strong digital infrastructure for businesses and industry.

If we are to be at forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a global economic player, we must speed up the adoption of technologies across our economy.”

The next Labour government will undertake a massive upgrade in the UK’s internet infrastructure, delivering fast, secure, reliable internet connections for everyone and putting an end to patchy and slow coverage. This will boost 5G connectivity across the country.

The plan will be paid for through Labour’s Green Transformation fund and taxing multinational corporations such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, and save the average person £30.30 a month.

Only between 8-10 per cent of premises in the UK are connected to full-fibre broadband, compared to 97 per cent in Japan and 98 per cent in South Korea. Almost 80% of adults surveyed said that they have experienced internet reliability problems in the last year.

Stephen said:

“I welcome proposals to deliver free full-fibre broadband – saving money for people in Portsmouth and local businesses. This will be a massive boost to our economy and a massive upgrade to our city’s infrastructure”

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Giving veterans the support fit for heroes

Labour has marked Armistice Day with a pledge to support the armed forces and the nation’s veterans with better working conditions, against a backdrop of falling pay and privatisation.

The party’s manifesto, which will be released later this month, will include five major pledges to support the forces and their families:

1. Fair Pay – scrap the public sector pay cap, which has seen 5.8% real terms pay cut for the starting salary of an Army Private

2. Decent housing for forces and their families – end the growing reliance on the private rented sector

3. A voice for service men and women – consult on creating a representative body, similar to the Police Federation

4. End privatisation – root and branch review of outsourcing and a clear presumption in favour of public delivery of public contracts

5. Support for forces children – better access to schools with dedicated local authorities’ admissions strategy for the particular challenge of frequent school moves.

Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South is a longstanding campaigner for better support for serving personnel and veterans.

He has been undertaking a variety of actions since getting elected to Parliament including calling on the Government to fund a veterans railcard, lobbying for bespoke mental health services and pressing Ministers to implement a scheme to record veteran suicide to understand the scale of the problem.

Stephen Morgan said:

“I have always been clear the Government has no higher duty than the protection of our citizens and the maintenance of national security.

Yet since 2010, we have seen 5,000 Royal Navy jobs cut, 12 ships axed, 91 defence sites 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? They refused.
Enough is enough. Labour’s veterans pledge is a testament to the fact that they are the only party prioritising our armed forces personnel.”

Stephen has a strong record of delivery when it comes to standing up for our veterans. He has Hosted a debate in Parliament. Written out to 98 coroners. Hosted roundtable meetings with veterans in his office. Worked alongside local organisations such as All Call Signs and urged Government to instate a veteran’s railcard.

Stephen said:

“With a record of delivery standing up for our armed forces and our nation’s veterans already, I promise to do so much more.

As a strong national voice on defence, I will continue to put our armed forces first. I welcome the comprehensive plan announced today to help achieve that”

Stephen Morgan has cited his grandfather, a D-Day veteran from Portsmouth, as the motivation behind his relentless efforts to see our armed forces personal treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

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“The generation to whom we all owe so much deserves a Government that won’t cut the benefits they rely on”- Stephen Morgan vows to carry on fight for free TV licences for over 75s

In 2017, the Conservatives stood on a manifesto that pledged not to touch benefits for the elderly. The have gone back on this promise and Government has forced through policy that saw the free TV licence snatched away from over 75s.

Prior to the Government change, Mr Morgan been engaging with thousands of Portsmouth residents about this issue. Since, he has spoken in parliamentary debates, written a joint letter with Portsmouth Pensioners to the PM, grilled Government Ministers in parliament, met with Age UK and conducted independent research. Alongside this record of delivery, Mr Morgan has pledged to do more and said he will not put down the gauntlet until he sees the vital benefit restored.

What does this mean? 1.3 million of the poorest over 75s left with another big bill to contend with. 3 million households worse off. 500,000 people living with dementia facing a new difficult bill.

Stephen Morgan said:

“It is an outrage that this Government is overseeing the scrapping of free TV licences for 3 million older people, leaving a Tory manifesto promise in tatters.

We know that around 1.3 million over-75s are eligible for Pension Credit but do not or cannot claim for the benefit. This means at least 650,000 of our poorest pensioners facing an ominous new annual bill they simply can’t afford.”

The Labour candidate who has already served 2 years as local MP has also been working with others to look into how certain more vulnerable demographics will be affected by the change.

This includes those with dementia, veterans and those who have lost cognitive brain function through injury or illness and struggle with submitting applications.

Mr Morgan said:

“As if committing a policy U-turn on benefits for over 75s wasn’t enough, we also know that of the 80% of pensioners set to lose out, over 900,000 are brave veterans who have gone above and beyond to protect this great nation.

How is the Government paying tribute to them? By leaving another hefty bill on their doorstep.

This combined with the fact that 500,000 people living with dementia facing a new difficult bill is demonstration that Conservatives really are the nasty party.”

The extensive work Mr Morgan has done for older members of the community is not limited to action on the free TV licence. He has worked hard on increasing bus routes, called for a veteran’s railcard pledged unconditional support for the winter fuel allowance and regularly meets with Portsmouth Pensioners to ensure they have a voice in parliament.