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Portsmouth MP backed bid to ‘put the heart back’ into city centre submitted to Government

A bid to breathe new life into the heart of our city centre, backed by Stephen Morgan MP, has been submitted to Government.

The Portsmouth South MP has been working alongside city council staff to prepare a new plan to Ministers as part of the Levelling Up agenda, with a detailed bid now with Government for decision.

If successful, the £40m proposals agreed by the MP would revitalise key sites across the city centre, often ignored or forgotten for investment over the last decade.

Mr Morgan has been reviewing a range of proposals for sites and projects across the Portsmouth South constituency, with the bid-writing team sadly needing to rule out an application to improve access at Fratton Station due to strict Government criteria and the need to have ‘shovel ready’ schemes.

The MP is continuing to work alongside Portsmouth Football Club to unlock funding to secure improvements in this part of the constituency.

The Portsmouth South proposals include:

  • The creation of a truly world class city centre, transforming the cultural quarter in the heart of the city, to connect communities across Portsmouth and the wider sub-region to a vibrant, cultural economy.
  • A transformed Portsmouth Guildhall and New Theatre Royal, which will offer a greater range of facilities and enable new activities and performances for people to enjoy.
  • A new Cultural Spine project that will link the main cultural assets in a safe, car free space for people to gather and celebrate their city, connecting the major transport links such as bus routes, park and ride routes and a mainline railway station to ensure visitors can come without the use of a private car, supporting the city’s commitment to net zero.
  • Projects within walking distance of some of the poorest communities that offer opportunities to access events in a safe and car free environment, helping to tackle deprivation, health inequalities and job density issues in the region.

Despite well-prepared submissions in the past, to date the south of the city has not received a penny from the Chancellor for the so-called levelling up the Government are encouraging.

Commenting on progress with the bid as the submission heads to Ministers for decision, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“Our city centre has been forgotten and ignored for too long and over time this has taken its toll. There is a desperate need to revitalise this important part of our city to help breathe new life into Portsmouth and our local economy.

“I know from our own postbag how much residents and local businesses want to see greater care and attention given by the council and government to our city centre. That is why I will continue to do all I can to secure the investment our community deserves.

“By working on this bid and backing the submission for much-needed funds, I hope we can put the heart back into our city centre and create a place Portsmouth people can be proud of once again”.

On the importance of the area securing Levelling Up Funding from Government, the city MP added:

“Coastal communities like our own have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and the spiralling cost of living in the south east makes it even harder for those on the lowest incomes to get by, compared to those living in other areas.

“As one of the few net contributors to the Treasury and yet some of the most deprived areas in the UK, levelling up the south east is a vital part of levelling up the country as a whole.

“At a time when growth and investment is more critical than ever, it’s vital that Portsmouth and our region gets the support it needs from government.”

The Portsmouth South MP has praised the work of council officials in preparing the detail of the proposals and has vowed to take further actions to secure the regeneration money the city deserves from Ministers.

Mr Morgan will be taking a range of further actions to lobby Government for more support for Portsmouth.

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Labour’s New Deal for Working People

Labour’s New Deal for Working People, launched by Angela Rayner at Conference 2021 and drawn up in partnership with Labour’s affiliated unions, is a comprehensive plan to improve the lives of working people by strengthening individual and collective rights.  

Keir Starmer has promised that a Labour Government will write this plan into law within 100 days of taking office.

Under Labour, work will be more secure and better-paid, and unions and individuals will have stronger rights to redress the power imbalance in the workplace.

Working people need better rights, stronger unions and a Labour Government to win the new deal at work they deserve.

Ahead of marching alongside UNISON trade union members at this year’s Tolpuddle festival, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Work should provide not just a proper wage that people can raise a family on, but dignity, flexibility and security. Better pay and more secure work is good for workers, good for businesses and good for the economy.

“The Conservatives have ushered in an employment model that means a race to the bottom on the backs of working people. Outsourcing, zero-hours contracts and agency work drive down pay, standards and conditions across our whole economy.

“Labour will deliver a New Deal for Working People so they get a fair share of the wealth they create, and within the first 100 days of the next Labour government we will sign this New Deal for Working People into law.

“It is high time that Portsmouth’s key workers who got us through the pandemic– and all working people – are given the dignity and security at work that they deserve”.

LABOUR’S NEW DEAL FOR WORKING PEOPLE:

Labour will strengthen rights at work for all workers, from day one on the job. They’ll create a single status of worker, so everyone is entitled to basic rights and protections like sick pay, holiday pay, parental leave and protection against unfair dismissal. They’ll remove the qualifying period for basic rights at work – so everyone is protected from their first day on the job. They will strengthen workplace rights for those who are self-employed.

Labour will end fire and rehire so workers can be safe in the knowledge that terms and conditions negotiated in good faith can’t be ripped up under threat of dismissal.

Labour will make work more family-friendly, and make it easier to balance work with home, community and family life. They’ll extend statutory maternity and paternity leave, and review and improve the shared parental leave system. Labour will make flexible working a day one right for all workers by default. They’ll bring in a new ‘right to switch off’ outside of working hours, and they’re committed to achieving a better work-life balance while raising pay.

Labour will ban zero-hours contracts and ensure everyone has the right to regular hours they can rely on. All workers will have the right to a regular contract and predictable hours, reasonable notice of any changes in shifts and wages for cancelled shifts paid in full.

Labour will strengthen trade union rights, raising pay and conditions. We have seen during the pandemic the role that unions have played in protecting workers health and safety, fighting to secure pay and jobs, and reaching agreements that have kept our country moving. We know that unionised workplaces are more likely to provide decent pay, good training, and benefits, such as holiday and sick pay, above the statutory minimum. That’s why Labour will strengthen trade unions by repealing anti-trade union laws, including the Trade Union Act, and introducing new rights to help unions recruit, organise and win a better deal for their members.

Labour will bring in Fair Pay Agreements to drive up pay and conditions for all workers, using sectoral collective bargaining. Beginning in social care, they will reverse the decades-long decline in collective bargaining coverage by introducing Fair Pay Agreements, negotiated through sectoral collective bargaining, to agree minimum standards across industries on issues including pay and pensions, working time and holidays, training, work organisation, diversity and inclusion, health and safety and the deployment of new technologies. Labour will also safeguard existing collective bargaining arrangements.

 

KEY ISSUES:

Labour will strengthen rights at work for all workers, from day one on the job. They’ll create a single status of worker, so everyone is entitled to basic rights and protections like sick pay, holiday pay, parental leave and protection against unfair dismissal. They’ll remove the qualifying period for basic rights at work – so everyone is protected from their first day on the job. They will strengthen workplace rights for those who are self-employed.

Background

The UK allocates rights to workers by organising them into three different categories, ‘worker’, ‘employee’, and ‘self-employed’, each with a separate legal definition and set of accompanying rights. The boundaries between the different categories are complex and defined in case law, making it very difficult for individual workers to know their true legal status. Workers often do not know their legal rights and any rights are harder to enforce.

Certain employers can actively exploit the complexity by falsely putting workers in a category with fewer rights. Many people work like regular employees – in uniform, full time, with work set entirely by management – but are falsely classified as self-employed workers doing freelance work for that company. As well as denying people their legal rights, this also undercuts all the good employers in the sector that chose to ensure their employees have the rights they are entitled to.

Labour will also act to strengthen protections for the self-employed. Many self-employed workers suffer from the same problems of insecurity, uncertainty, and a lack of basic rights.

The current arbitrary qualification period leaves workers waiting up to two years to access some basic rights, including protection against some types of unfair dismissal. That is why Labour will end the qualification period, so that rights start on the first day on the job.

Labour will end fire and rehire so workers can be safe in the knowledge that terms and conditions negotiated in good faith can’t be ripped up under threat of dismissal.

Background

Fire and rehire is when an employee is made redundant, then re-engaged on worse terms and conditions. The threat of fire and rehire is often enough for employers to bully employees into “voluntarily” agreeing to lower pay and reduced terms and conditions. The use of fire and rehire is not a new phenomenon. However, it has gained prominence and become more widespread during the pandemic, in both the public and private sector. A TUC poll estimated that 1 in 10 workers – almost 3 million people – have been subjected to fire and rehire tactics since March 2020. Young workers, Black, Asian, and minority ethnic workers, and those on low pay have been disproportionately impacted.

Labour will make work more family-friendly, and make it easier to balance work with home, community and family life. They’ll extend statutory maternity and paternity leave, and review and improve the shared parental leave system. Labour will make flexible working a day one right for all workers by default. They’ll bring in a new ‘right to switch off’ outside of working hours, and they’re committed to achieving a better work-life balance while raising pay.

Background

Work-life balance is a right. The UK has some of the longest working hours in Europe, with a long-hours culture that contributes to poor physical and mental health, an increased risk of accidents at work, and decreased productivity.

The obstacles to a good work-life balance are not the same for everyone. For some, work comes to dominate their lives through long working hours or an expectation to work outside of their paid working hours. For others, it is a lack of certainty and control over when and how much they will work – and what they will earn – which prevents them from being able to plan their life and choose how to spend their time. For a good work-life balance, both must be addressed.

Labour will ban zero-hours contracts and ensure everyone has the right to regular hours they can rely on. All workers will have the right to a regular contract and predictable hours, reasonable notice of any changes in shifts and wages for cancelled shifts paid in full.

Background

For many, work is increasingly insecure, precarious and unpredictable. They have little idea when they will be working and how much they will be earning a few weeks ahead, creating stress and leaving them without the financial security to plan for themselves or their family.

Flexibility is too often ‘one-sided’ with workers expected to be completely flexible to the demands of their employer, working when and where they are asked to, with no certainty on how this will change day by day or week by week.

Labour will strengthen trade union rights, raising pay and conditions. We have seen during the pandemic the role that unions have played in protecting workers health and safety, fighting to secure pay and jobs, and reaching agreements that have kept our country moving. We know that unionised workplaces are more likely to provide decent pay, good training, and benefits, such as holiday and sick pay, above the statutory minimum. That’s why Labour will strengthen trade unions by repealing anti-trade union laws, including the Trade Union Act, and introducing new rights to help unions recruit, organise and win a better deal for their members.

Background

Unionised workplaces are more likely to provide decent pay, good training, and benefits, such as holiday and sick pay, above the statutory minimum. Trade unions have reaffirmed their value throughout the pandemic, from winning the furlough scheme to agreeing on safe working conditions with employers. They have also kept the country going with agreements and campaigns in key sectors.

The imbalance of power between individual workers and employers means that it is essential that workers can band together to improve their bargaining power. The right of unions to operate effectively in the workplace, in each sector of the economy, is vital for achieving fairness, dignity and democracy at work for all.

Unions have been subjected to increasingly restrictive rules, most recently in the Trade Union Act 2016. Even before the Trade Union Act came into force, the UK already had one of the most regulated systems of industrial action in the world, with unions having to comply with complex and often unnecessary legal requirements.

These restrictions mean workers are denied their fair share of the wealth they create, whilst a lack of collective representation has led to a race to the bottom that damages the economy and hampers long-term growth. The principle of solidarity of workers being able to support each other is an important democratic freedom and is vital to a healthy economy and society.

Labour will bring in Fair Pay Agreements to drive up pay and conditions for all workers, using sectoral collective bargaining. Beginning in social care, they will reverse the decades-long decline in collective bargaining coverage by introducing Fair Pay Agreements, negotiated through sectoral collective bargaining, to agree minimum standards across industries on issues including pay and pensions, working time and holidays, training, work organisation, diversity and inclusion, health and safety and the deployment of new technologies. Labour will also safeguard existing collective bargaining arrangements.

Background

When acting alone, workers are often denied their fair share – but when backed by the collective power of their colleagues and trade unions, they can better secure their share of the wealth they helped to create. The labour movement’s historic achievements have come through giving people power and a voice at work by means of collective action and collective representation.

Collective bargaining is still the defining feature of industrial relations in some of the most successful economies in Europe, with many having collective bargaining agreements covering well over three quarters of their workforce. Evidence from other countries shows collective bargaining drives up pay and living standards whilst reducing inequality. It ensures workers share in economic growth and allows workplaces and sectors to adapt better to new technologies and trends.

Labour believes strong collective bargaining rights and institutions at all levels are key to tackling the problems of insecurity, inequality, discrimination, enforcement, low pay, and other issues identified in the Green Paper.

Fair Pay Agreements will be negotiated through sectoral collective bargaining, reversing the decades-long decline in collective bargaining coverage. Worker representatives and employer representatives would be brought together to negotiate Fair Pay Agreements that establish minimum terms and conditions, which would be binding on all employers and workers in the sector.

To download the New Deal in full click here

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Queen’s Speech – City MP responds

Reacting to the Queen’s Speech today, Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, said:

“This was a wasted opportunity. The first line of the Queen’s Speech should have included the introduction of an emergency budget to tackle the cost of living crisis Portsmouth and the rest of the country are facing. Instead, it was scarcely mentioned at all.

“Nothing to tackle the cost of the weekly shop, energy bills or the price at the pump. Ministers even decided it was better to chuck its Employment Bill in the bin, rather than help to secure good jobs.

“Today’s Queen’s Speech smacks of a government and Prime Minister that is out of ideas, and out of touch. Labour is ambitious for our country. After 12 years of low growth, high inflation and spiralling taxes, Labour’s plan would once again prioritise world-class public services, bring down NHS waiting times, tackle crime and ensure the best education for our children.”

Commenting on schools, the Shadow Schools Minister, added:

“After two years of unprecedented chaos and disruption to children’s education, we saw nothing to support children’s catch-up learning in the classroom, and nothing to tackle the day-to-day challenges pupils and teachers are facing. This government is failing our next generation.

“Labour in government would recruit 6,500 new teachers, back them with improved professional development and ensure every young person leaves education ready for work and ready for life, with professional careers advice and work experience for all.”

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Portsmouth MP praises ‘resilient’ new local business for giving back to the community

Stephen Morgan MP has praised a new business launched during the middle of the pandemic for its resilience and for providing targeted services to community members.

Launched in May 2020, Danielle Hollinshead and her husband Ian started IDeal Fitness & Nutrition LTD, which has continued to grow from strength to strength.

During lockdown, the new business offered online nutrition coaching and socially distanced 121 kickboxing coaching, but now has ambitions to grow the start-up even further with restrictions now lifted.

The business recently launched its health and wellness group at Milton Village Hall, to teach the local community about the importance of healthy living and the benefits of exercise whether their goal is to lose, gain or maintain their current weight. Classes are every Friday afternoon, 12-1pm.

During school holidays, the group will be extended to accommodate more children who can come along for some family fun and learn about family nutrition. Classes are free to all under 16’s who attend with a parent or guardian.

The local enterprise also launched last week a nutrition and wellness cooking course, designed for adults with learning difficulties.

Following a visit to see one of the classes first-hand at Milton Village Hall, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“The resilience Danielle and Ian have shown to start a business in the middle of the pandemic is nothing short of remarkable. It’s fantastic to see the entrepreneurial spirit of our city is still alive and kicking after the challenges of the last two years.

“I’m also really pleased to hear how the team plan to provide specific classes to those with learning difficulties and are already helping young people to learn about healthy living, so it was really useful to see that first-hand this afternoon.

“I look forward to seeing how the local business continues to grow from strength to strength and provide such important services to our community.”

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Portsmouth MP tours New Forest farm with NFU on work to support local people

Stephen Morgan MP has met National Farmers’ Union (NFU) representatives and the region’s farmers at a New Forest farm to learn more about how the agricultural sector is supporting our city’s communities.

During the visit, the Portsmouth representative discussed concerns over food security, ensuring a workforce to pick crops and land management in a roundtable with the NFU and local farmers.

In Portsmouth South alone, this year residents will eat an estimated:

  • 12.3 million eggs
  • 10.7 million litres of milk
  • 3,063 tonnes of bread

It comes as recent workforce shortages highlighted sensitivities around food supply chains, including ongoing workforce shortages in the food and farming sectors in picking, packing, processing and distributing food.

Agricultural workers played a critical role in keeping supply-chains running during the pandemic and restrictions, and Mr Morgan took the opportunity to thank them for their efforts.

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

“It’s been useful to meet with National Farming Union representatives and our region’s farmers, to learn more about the work they are doing to support our communities and keep us fed.

“Farmers went above and beyond to support us and keep food on the shelves during the height of the pandemic, so it’s only right they get the support that’s needed from Westminster as we recover.

“I look forward to working with the NFU to ensure our area’s farming community get the help they need to keep providing for Portsmouth families.”

According to the NFU, the UK’s current food self-sufficiency rate is hovering at about 60%. Labour has accused the government of being “far too complacent” on food security, saying it would look to increase the UK’s self-sufficiency.

Labour has said it would support farms to make, sell and buy more in Britain. This includes using public procurement to ensure that schools and hospitals buy local produce, encouraging more food to be grown in the region, and across the rest of the country.

The city MP added:

“The conflict in Ukraine has triggered a humanitarian tragedy and our nation’s attention is rightly focused on attempting to resolve the crisis.

“It has also reminded us of the need to tackle challenges with the global food market, from rising fuel prices pushing fertilizer costs up by as much as 400%, to both Russia and Ukraine accounting for nearly a third of global wheat exports.

“Like many other countries, the UK faces economy-wide disruption that could last for many years, including to our food output, our food supply chains and the availability and affordability of food to consumers.

“As an island nation, being able to grow enough food to feed a substantial proportion of our population is a key measure of food security and national resilience.

“That’s why I will be calling on Government to set out a clear plan to maintain confidence and stability across the UK’s food producing businesses, to protect working families and pensioners, and keep Britain fed.”

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Labour tax cut would save pubs over £2,000 from next week 

Labour have today outlined their ‘emergency support’ to help small businesses with rising costs. The measures include a tax cut which would take effect this week if the Government adopted Labour’s plans.  

Under the plans a typical small factory or workshop would save £2,700, a pub would be £2,600 better off and the average café or restaurant would save £2,700.

New analysis from Labour shows the current system of business rates is acting as a tax on growth, with smaller firms facing big tax cliff edges if they expand. A typical hairdresser who expands from one to two sites would see their tax bill go from £0 to £5,000, while an average shop goes from paying £0 to £10,000. 

Labour’s long-term plan would see Business Rates scrapped and replaced with a system that supported growth, and would be fairer between the small high street businesses based on bricks and the global tech giants based on clicks.

The party have also pledged support to British industry with an energy support fund to help with rising prices. The Government promised to support energy intensive firms six months ago but have failed to come forward with a package of support. Labour’s plans include direct help for industry to deal with rising prices now as well as support for the steel industry to decarbonise.

Labour’s plan includes:   

A tax cut for small business  

Labour would cut taxes for businesses by raising the threshold for small business rates relief for a year (from the current threshold of £15,000 to £25,000), to give SMEs a discount on their business rates bill from 1 April 2022/23.

Energy support fund  

Labour’s energy support fund would prioritise energy intensive industries such as steel, glass and ceramics to bring down their energy bills. At least 388,000 jobs are at risk if these factories are forced to close or reduce operations as the price of gas has nearly tripled since last October.

Green steel fund  

Labour would support the steel industry to decarbonise, with £3bn worth of investment in collaboration with business, over the coming decade.

No rise in National Insurance   

Labour would not be increasing national insurance contributions which will mean employers will pay an additional rate of 1.25% on employees’ earnings over £175 per week (£9,100 per year) from the 1 April.

Commenting on the emergency measures, Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP, said:

Small businesses are the bedrock of our economy in Portsmouth. Helping to protect them during this cost-of-living crisis protects livelihoods, protects jobs and protects our city’s communities.

“Labour’s plan would see business rates scrapped and replaced with a system that supported growth, and would be fairer between the small high street businesses based on bricks and the global tech giants based on clicks. 

“These emergency measures, if adopted by Government, would benefit so many of our city’s small businesses. Proposals would ensure a saving for a local pub of £2,600 and the average café or restaurant saving £2,700, all helping to keep our economy going”.

Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, added:   

“Businesses are facing a tidal wave of extra costs and being held back under the Conservatives through tax rises, inflation and the energy crisis. Action is needed now to ensure firms remain viable and extra costs aren’t passed onto consumers worsening the cost-of-living crisis.  

“Under Labour small firms would be around £2,000 better off from this week through our plans to cut taxes and we wouldn’t penalise small firms for expanding. Labour would back industry with our energy support fund and long-term plans to green the steel industry.   

“It’s clear great British businesses can’t afford this Government.”

 

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Portsmouth MP welcomes in Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca

Stephen Morgan MP welcomed Brittany Ferries’ new Salamanca vessel to Portsmouth today during a reception held at Portsmouth International Portsmouth.

The new LNG-powered, more environmentally friendly ship is set for its first commercial voyage on Sunday and to serve along Portsmouth routes. The city MP took a tour round the new ship meeting staff.

Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, said:

“It was great to finally welcome Salamanca to Portsmouth today and encouraging see a new, more environmentally friendly vessel that will serve along Portsmouth routes.

“Brittany Ferries plays an important role in our city’s economy, but as one of the first cities in the country to declare a climate emergency and local waters under threat from pollution, its pleasing to see steps it has taken to help protect our local environment now and for the years to come.

“I look forward to the Salamanca becoming a more familiar sight when looking out across the seafront, as she serves our city and supports our economic recovery from the pandemic.”

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Portsmouth MP will vote to ban fire & rehire and for P&O Ferries to reinstate its workforce

Stephen Morgan MP is set to vote with Labour today, demanding that P&O Ferries reinstates its workforce and for fire and rehire to be outlawed.

The mass sackings without notice last week caused outrage nationwide, amid reports suggested security firms with balaclavas and handcuffs were used to take sacked British workers off the vessels.

The Conservative Government was made aware of the sackings before it was announced, and of the plan to use fire and rehire.

Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh MP, has called this moment “a line in the sand” and later today Labour will stage a vote demanding the Tories outlaw fire and rehire, strengthen workers’ rights and take tough action to force the company to think again.

Labour called on the government to:

  • Outlaw fire and rehire and bring forward an urgent bill to strengthen workers rights.
  • Suspend the contracts of DP World – the owner of P&O Ferries – until this matter is resolved
  • Remove DP World from the UK Government’s Transport Advisory Group where they were appointed by the now Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, “to provide knowledge, experience and strategic expertise” on trade negotiations.

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

“I will fight every step of the way for the jobs and livelihoods of these loyal workers.

“This scandalous action must be a line in the sand. If P&O Ferries can get away with this, it will give the green light to other exploitative employers.

“That’s why I’m voting to ban fire and rehire for good and am calling on Government to suspend licenses and contracts of P&O Ferries and DP World and reinstate these grossly mistreated workers.

“I will continue to work alongside trade unions to campaign for the outlawing of draconian fire and rehire practices.”

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City MP demands government acts over P&O Ferries betrayal

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has demanded Ministers take action over ‘disgusting’ treatment of staff by P&O Ferries as Labour writes to the Prime Minister calling for him to “stand up for loyal workers in Britain” after 800 P&O Ferries’ staff were sacked without notice.

The City MP has welcomed efforts by the Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh MP, who is visiting the sacked workers at Dover port and is demanding the Prime Minister take action including considering:

  • Suspending the contracts and licences of DP World – the owner of P&O Ferries – until this matter is resolved
  • Remove DP World from the UK Government’s Transport Advisory Group where they were appointed by the now Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, “to provide knowledge, experience and strategic expertise” on trade negotiations
  • Claw back taxpayers’ money handed over to DP World during the pandemic
  • Outlaw fire and rehire.

And in a letter to the Prime Minister, Labour has asked Government to address concerns including when Ministers were notified of the redundancies, whether they were aware of the tactics that would be used by P&O Ferries and their intention to breach employment law prior to the announcement.

Labour has also called on the Prime Minister to explain whether the issue was raised on his visit to the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, whose investment arm is the ultimate owners of P&O Ferries.

P&O used to operate services from Portsmouth Port delivering goods and passengers to mainland Europe (Caen, Cherbourg, Bilbao and Le Havre) until 2010.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“What P&O Ferries have done is disgusting. British seafarers don’t need empty platitudes from Government, they need action from Ministers.

“A number of constituents who are ex-employees have already got in touch with me sharing their disappointment in how the company is shamefully treating the workforce. That’s why I’m calling on Government to suspend licenses and contracts P&O Ferries and DP World hold with Government and claw back every taxpayer’s penny taken from the company during the pandemic.

“I will also continue to work alongside trade unions to campaign for the outlawing of draconian fire and rehire practices.

“It is about time this Government stood up for Britain’s workers”.

Commenting Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh MP said:

“This was a despicable assault on workers’ rights.

“But British seafarers do not need meaningless platitudes – they need action.

“That’s why the government must consider suspending licences and contracts held with DP World, claw back every penny of taxpayers money, and outlaw fire and rehire now.

“Boris Johnson went to the UAE with a begging bowl, and as he returned eight hundred British workers were sacked without notice by one of their investment arms.

“The Government must now stand up for loyal workers in Britain being undermined by overseas billionaires.”

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City MP helps launch new campaign to promote ‘World-class’ Portsmouth attractions

Stephen Morgan MP spoke at the launch of a new city campaign at Spinnaker Tower on Thursday evening to boost visitors to the city and mark the start of English Tourism Week.

The new campaign includes an events guide highlighting everything happening this year from international spectacles like Victorious Festival and the Great South Run to smaller community events such as the Live at the Bandstand, King George V fireworks display and Heritage Open Days.

The council is also partnering with South Western Railways to showcase Portsmouth on landmark digital billboards at London Waterloo Station and will be attending a number of trade events in the capital during English Tourism Week, 18-27 March.

Attractions across the city are getting behind the push with a range of special offers during the week including £30 off an ultimate explorer ticket at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard; 20% discount at Exploria; special offers on a range of performances at Portsmouth Guildhall and 20% off Hover travel tickets.

Portsmouth residents can also get 25% discount on a visit to the Spinnaker Tower or 40% off entry to D-Day Story. More information on all the special offers can be found by searching “English Tourism Week” at www.visitportsmouth.co.uk

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, said:

“Portsmouth has world class attractions like the historic dockyard and D-Day Story and I’m delighted to see local efforts made to promote our city to a wider audience.

“Our tourist, cultural and historic attractions are increasingly the envy of the world and a source of national pride.

“So as we mark this English Tourism Week, I’m calling on local people to redouble our efforts to shout about what our city has to offer, and to use our assets as a symbol of the kind of city and country we are now and aspire to be in the future.”