, , , ,

“A fairer voting system will help ensure a fairer, more progressive Britain” says Stephen Morgan MP as he hosts electoral reform event

60 people attended an event hosted by the city MP to encourage discussion around electoral reform.

National experts from the Electoral Reform Society and Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform delivered presentations before Mr Morgan chaired an open panel discussion with local Green party representative, Ian McCulloch.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“We need to see a fairer, more progressive Britain. It is essential that we put aside party differences and work together for the common good.

That is why I have organised this public event tonight aimed at creating a platform for open discussion about the merits of electoral reform.

When research tells us over 70% of votes count for nothing, I can I understand why alarm bells are ringing.

Thank you to all residents who came along this evening to help shape my thinking. I will take back ideas and views on fairer voting to Westminster”.

The event comes the week the Electoral Reform Society published a report which revealed the 2019 General election left voters voiceless.  

Dr Jess Garland from the Electoral Reform Society said:

“Stephen Morgan’s work creating this open platform for debate around electoral reform is commendable.

The 2019 General Election showed once again that Westminster’s broken voting system is short-changing both voters and parties. We all need to work together to change this and Stephen’s proactive engagement with this issue is creating an atmosphere where that can happen.

I look forward to continuing to work with Stephen and other MPs and campaigners across the spectrum so that we can build a better, more just, democracy.”

Reports show that 22.6 million people had their votes ignored at the last General Election, due to the First Past the Post System. The Labour Party 2019 Manifesto committed to UK-wide Constitutional Convention, led by a citizens’ assembly to provide targeted analyses of solutions to the problem.

Mr Morgan added:

“While I find my mailbox full of matters about housing and other community concerns rather than electoral reform, I understand the need for robust debate on the current voting system.

I am not wedded to any particular model but certainly hear arguments that a more proportional system is required to redress the current imbalance.

I organised today’s meeting to give people, from across different parties, the opportunity to have their voice heard in the week of the Electoral Reform Society’s important report”.

, , , ,

“Government must go further to protect coastal communities” says city MP in parliamentary debate

Stephen Morgan MP today delivered a speech to parliament outlining areas where the government needs to go further to reduce flood risks.

The city MP honed in on the particular challenges faced for Portsmouth City Council and Southsea Sea Defence Scheme; Forcing the Minister to respond to questions about heritage sites, funding and austerity.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“With record rainfall in February and the last decade the warmest on record, coastal communities are at great risk of the impacts of climate change.

Major infrastructure projects like Southsea Sea Defence Scheme are needed to protect lives, homes and livelihoods.

Government funding, lack of recognition for heritage sites, and the impacts of austerity are undermining local efforts to protect our communities.”

Portsmouth City Council have stated the city coastline’s rich heritage sites mean that additional funding is required to secure cultural assets like Southsea Castle. Currently, government funding offers no weighting to communities who harbour heritage sites, which Mr Morgan has called on them to change.

Mr Morgan also stressed the national importance of our coastal communities, he added:

“Our coastal communities are rich in leisure, tourism and heritage activities. Their loss is the nation’s loss.

They must be protected. There are gaps in the government’s current strategy which need to be addressed.

It is high time the government took notice of this fact and started properly supporting coastal communities like Portsmouth.”

Stephen Morgan MP also raised in the chamber the fact the Minister had cancelled two meetings, one with the Council, to discuss Southsea Sea Defence Scheme.

The city MP has committed to continuing to raise the risk of flooding in order to safeguard the interests and livelihoods of constituents.

, ,

City MP to take part in housing panel discussion

Stephen Morgan MP will take part in an open discussion, hosted by Portsmouth University, on the past, present and future of housing.

Joining social and design historians, the Shadow Communities Minister will discuss topics such as social housing and homeownership.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“There is a major shortage of over 100,000 homes in the UK. There are also around 8.5 million people who are living in unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable housing.

Portsmouth is one of the most densely populated cities in the country meaning people in our community bear the brunt of the crisis.

This is an issue that affects people of all ages and demographics. It is essential that the reasons for the housing emergency are discussed so that solutions can be formulated.”

In Portsmouth over the past 5 years, more than 3000 households have made a homeless application, the number of rough sleepers was over 8 times greater in 2017 than it was in 2013 and there is a shortfall of over 3,500 affordable homes.

Mr Morgan said:

“Everyone has the right to a roof over their head and to live free from the worry of homelessness. Debate needs to take place in our communities about how to address the housing crisis.

I encourage Portsmouth people who want to see change in their community to come along and take part in this discussion.

This is a rare chance to hear from field experts and engage in meaningful debate. I urge residents not to miss the opportunity”.

The event is set to take place on Friday 6 March from 19:00 until 20:30 at Eldon Building University of Portsmouth, Winston Churchill Avenue Portsmouth.

This is an opportunity to join authors John Broughton, Professor Sugg Ryan and Stephen Morgan MP for a discussion on the past, present and future of housing.

John Broughton is a social housing historian who has documented the history of public housing through books, blogs and public talks. Professor Sugg Ryan is a design historian, author and media presenter specialising in the history of the home and domestic technology.

Ideal Homes: The past, present and future of housing can be reserved: here

,

City MP to host public meeting on electoral reform

Following the publication today of a report on the General Election of 2019 by the Electoral Reform Society, Stephen Morgan MP is this week hosting a public meeting at the University of Portsmouth on the issue. The event is a bid to bring together the voices of both experts and constituents on the subject of fairer voting.

The city MP will be joined at the meeting by Make Votes Matter and the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform’s Caroline Osborne and the Electoral Reform Society’s Director of Research Jessica Garland, who will be presenting the findings of the report which can be viewed here. The event is open to all constituents.

Stephen Morgan said:
“I want to see a voting system where every vote counts. The fact millions of people vote in ‘safe’ seats where their voice isn’t heard is an insult to our democracy. Our voting system is clearly broken.

Parliament must represent the voices of Britain, and under First Past the Post this is not being achieved.

That is why I have put together this public meeting with leading minds on the issue. I encourage all those who share this vision of a democratised voting system to come and get involved.

I would also like to thank the University of Portsmouth for hosting this event for constituents to have their say.”

Today’s report reveals Westminster’s voting system is leading to ‘absurd’ inequalities in representation. For example, in Scotland a substantial Conservative vote share (25%) yielded just six seats (10%), while over 90% of Scottish Labour votes went totally unrepresented.

To hear more on the ERS’s findings, find free tickets here. Booking is essential.

, , , ,

Keir Starmer joins Stephen Morgan in backing Portsmouth’s green initiatives

Stephen Morgan MP hosted Labour leadership front-runner Keir Starmer in Portsmouth to broadcast the benefits of active travel in tackling climate change.

Joined by senior Brompton representatives, the two parliamentarians spent time at the Cycle Hire Hub at Portsmouth Harbour Station.

The current air pollution crisis in Portsmouth, need for more government investment in active travel infrastructure, and Labour’s plan for a greener future were discussed.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Key to tackling climate change is ensuring people have the tools to make changes to their everyday routine. Active travel is a major part of that.

In Portsmouth we face some of the worst air pollution rates in the country. Children choking on fumes is not what this city deserves.

That is why I support Brompton’s Cycle Hire Hub, which makes green commuting easier and takes polluting vehicles off our roads.

Keir’s support for this initiative coupled with his pledge to put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything Labour does, secure him as the only Labour candidate able to bring radical solutions to the climate problem.”

Keir Starmer MP said:

“The recent extreme weather is further evidence that we are living through a climate emergency.

“It is fantastic that Stephen has shown leadership in Portsmouth on this issue by backing Brompton’s bike scheme, organising community events and leading the charge to declaring a climate emergency in the city.

“If elected Labour leader, I would support a Green New Deal and also a Clean Air Act – to ensure that dangerous levels of air pollution are tackled.”

Julian Scriven, Managing Director of Brompton Bike Hire said:

“Brompton is committed  to changing the way people move around cities. We are delighted that both Stephen Morgan MP and Sir Kier Starmer MP share this vision and are demonstrating a real drive at both a local and national level to promote active travel”.

Stephen Morgan MP has a record of delivery when it comes to tackling climate change. From leading the Labour Group locally in declaring a climate emergency and orchestrating major Portsmouth events to voting in favour of legislation In the House of Commons, he has shown leadership from Portsmouth to parliament.

 Keir Starmer and the city MP were joined by a number of Labour councillors and campaigners for more ambitious action by the council to tackle the climate crisis.

, , ,

Hundreds flock to Keir Starmer rally hosted by Stephen Morgan MP

Over 400 attendees have travelled to Portsmouth from across the south coast to hear the Labour leadership contender Keir Starmer MP at event hosted by a Portsmouth Labour and Stephen Morgan MP.

The rally set out the leadership frontrunner’s plan for bringing the party together and forging the path back to power and retuning a Labour government. 

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“It is evident from today’s well attended, standing room only event that there is desire in the Labour party to unite and come together.

Keir Starmer has the skills and experience the party needs right now. His ability to keep the policy programme radical, unite our movement, and forge the path back to power is what people in our area told him today.

It was a real pleasure to have hosted Keir for the third time in our city and share the stage with inspiring Portsmouth people who share his vision for a better future for Britain.”

Keir Starmer said:

“It is fantastic to have the support of so many people here in Portsmouth. Stephen Morgan is a great local MP, fighting for the city day in day out and I am honoured to have his backing to be Labour leader.

It has been a great day visiting members here in Portsmouth, talking to them about how we can unite our party and win the next election.

Whatever the outcome of this contest, I look forward to coming back to Portsmouth in the coming months and beginning the campaign for the local elections.”

The parliamentarians shared the stage with Paula Savage and Portsmouth FC’s, Christian Burgess, who all set out why they are backing Keir.

Portsmouth FC’s Christian Burgess, said:

“Keir’s vision for a fairer, more just society combined with his ability to be formidable and provide forensic opposition to the Tories is why he has my full support.

He has a track record of being a voice for those often denied and bringing people together. This is exactly what the nation needs.”

This is the third time Mr Morgan has hosted the bookies’ favourite next Labour leader. Stephen Morgan MP declared his support for Keir Starmer’s campaign early-on and has been campaigning locally and nationally for the candidate’s election.

Former MPs city Frank Judd, Syd Rapson and Sarah McCarthy-Fry have also backed Mr Starmer.

, , ,

“Education is key to tackling climate change” says city MP as he joins students in Parliament for Teach the Future

Stephen Morgan MP joined a parliamentary climate change event alongside students from across the country, including Portsmouth.

The city MP today attended Teach the Future, a parliamentary campaign seeking to urgently reform the education system to focus further on climate change.

Mr Morgan said:

“I believe that we need to ensure that the education system is at the heart of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change, so the next generation can lead society to safety.

That is why for some time I have been campaigning alongside local activists, XR, Friends of the Earth and youth movements to put pressure on government to act.

We have already seen leadership from youth movements across the nation and it is now time government matched this commitment. As we draw nearer to the UK hosted COP26, the need could not be greater for government action.”

This is not the first time Stephen Morgan MP has taken action to promote the need for educational reform. In 2019, the city MP wrote a targeted letter to the Education Secretary demanding climate change be considered a core subject. A request refused by the Conservative government.

The city MP said:

“If we do not undertake a major structural overhaul of our education system, we are clipping the wings of future generations ability to tackle the world’s greatest issue.

75% of teachers surveyed by teach the future say they feel they have not received adequate climate change training. 4% of students say they feel they know enough about the issue. Cleary government needs to make changes.

That is why I remain committed to applying pressure and scrutiny to all government decision making on this matter and will continue to fight for increased education on our environment in schools.”

The city MP has been a climate ambassador both in Portsmouth and parliament. He has worked alongside XR and Friends of the Earth, played a crucial role in the declaration of a climate change emergency locally and nationally, has applied scrutiny to government decision making and continues to organise major community. 

, , ,

City MP holds Government Minister to account over environmental impacts of AQUIND

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has continued to help those objecting to the AQUIND application and taken action over environmental concerns surrounding the government backed infrastructure project in Portsmouth.

AQUIND Interconnector, an electric power transmission linking the UK to mainland Europe, has the potential to damage endangered wildlife near Milton Common and the surrounding areas of Portsmouth say constituents.

Mr Morgan said:

“In Portsmouth we are proud of the wildlife that thrives because of the wetlands and proximity to the sea. It is essential that these endangered species are safeguarded.

The Government supported initiative AQUIND could result in digging up areas near Milton Common, which hosts much of this teaming wildlife.

I share concerns about this infrastructure project and am supporting those objecting to it. I believe the proposals should have been determined by the relevant local planning authorities such as our city council but sadly the Government has decided that the proposal should be determined by the Secretary of State through the Development Consent Order process.

That is why I have today written to the Environment Secretary urging commitments to safeguard our endangered species and demanding regular and continued assessment of damage. The Government must now answer these specific questions of concern and be held to account over these proposals. I will continue to take action and be the a strong voice for Portsmouth over these plans which affect so many communities in our city and risking Portsmouth’s environment.”

The city MP has written to the Environment Secretary demanding answers. The action follows raising parliamentary questions, meetings with residents, attending open consultations and relaying concerns to AQUIND directly. The Portsmouth South representative has welcomed efforts by council officers to inform the public about the proposed plans so that resident views can be heard.

Stephen Morgan MP added:

“Our natural habitats are already under immense strain due to climate change. This means that we must take extra precautions to safeguard our wildlife and look at every infrastructure project through an environmental lens.

So far government has not shown leadership on the climate emergency. I will continue to apply to scrutiny to all decision making to ensure climate change is at the heart of discussion.”

This action is the first in a string of actions taken by the city MP over the AQUIND infrastructure project. Stephen Morgan has raised the issue through parliamentary questions, met with residents and spoken to the organisation over issues raised by constituents.

AQUIND Interconnector is a subsea and underground High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) electric power transmission link between the South Coast of England and Normandy in France. The Planning Inspectorate will hold an independent examination into the proposals, which is a form of a public inquiry. For more information visit https://interconnectorportsmouth.co.uk/

A copy of the letter can be seen here: GE DEFRA 25 2 NS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

, ,

“I will continue to stand up for Charles Dickens residents from the green benches of Westminster” vows city MP as it’s announced he’s not re-standing as a councillor

Portsmouth Labour has today announced that Charles Dickens ward councillor and group leader Stephen Morgan MP will not be re-standing as a councillor at the next local elections.

After winning the Charles Dickens seat, Cllr Morgan became the party’s group leader on the council in September of that year. Under his watch, the group has jumped from 2 to 6 councillors winning in wards the party has never secured before.

The inner city ward is one of the most deprived in the community with high levels of child poverty, a significant student population, and the city centre and Naval Base. Cllr Morgan beat a Lib Dem of 12 years standing on the council to take the seat for Labour in May 2016. 

With Morgan’s leadership, the group has been opposing Tory and Lib Dem cuts to local services, encouraging investment in neighbourhoods and our high streets and led the charge to declare a climate emergency.

 

 

Confirming the news today Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Having the huge opportunity to serve as a councillor for Charles Dickens ward, in the city I love, with some great characters, inspirational residents and fantastic community spirit, has been one of the greatest honours of my life. There are many moments over the four years I will always cherish.

If you go into public service I believe you should always see it through. That is why I wanted to serve the full term as a ward councillor and do my best for all residents, at all times, even with the privilege of being elected as their MP.

As my term of office ends, I have not sought re-selection on the council as a local councillor. I am delighted that Kirsty Mellor has been chosen as Labour’s candidate in the forthcoming elections this May. 

As a local resident, Kirsty’s passionate defence of domestic abuse services and dedication to fighting welfare cuts, means she’s well placed to carry on the campaign work I’ve been doing to improve life chances for all residents in this special part of Portsmouth.

With all the challenges the area faces – the lack of affordable housing, our city centre neglected and families struggling to make ends meet – I look forward to working alongside Kirsty, Cllr Cal Corkery and other local residents to continue to stand up for Charles Dickens residents from the green benches of Westminster”.

This May a third of council seats are up for election. Portsmouth Labour hope to make further council gains following the General Election result which saw Portsmouth South securing the largest increase in Labour’s share of the vote in the country, more than tripling Stephen Morgan’s majority and the Lib Dems recording their worst election result since 1918.

Portsmouth MP to welcome Keir Starmer at regional rally

 

 

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, is to host the Labour leadership contender at a rally in the city next week

 

Keir Starmer, who has been nominated by Portsmouth Labour Party and backed by the city’s Labour MP, is to have a stop off on the campaign trail in the south east to speak at a specially convened rally for members and supporters on Saturday 29 February.

 

Starmer’s visit to Portsmouth will be the third in recent years, coming to the city to listen to local business concerns over Brexit and in late November supporting the Portsmouth South MP in his reelection.

 

Promoting the forthcoming event supporters along the south coast, Stephen Morgan MP and Shadow Communities Minister said:

 

“When Labour is united, radical and relevant it wins. And look what we have delivered in Government: the NHS, real investment in our public services, the Equal Pay Act and peace in Northern Ireland. Now is the time work together to oppose the damage Mr Johnson’s government will do to our communities and win the country over. 

 

Portsmouth Labour believes Keir will unite every part of our party and our movement. I am delighted he is coming to our city to address supporters and members. 

 

I hope as many people across the region attend to hear what he has to say”.

 

The Labour leadership contender has visited every part of the UK since he launched his leadership campaign.

 

To join Keir, Stephen and special guests you will need to book a place at the rally. To confirm you’re coming along visit: https://events.keirstarmer.com/events/portsmouth-gotv-rally