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Labour’s plan to keep energy bills low will save 30,000 Portsmouth households up to £600 – City MP

Stephen Morgan MP has said Labour’s plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis could save over 30,000 Portsmouth households up to £600 a year.

To address the immediate crisis, the Official Opposition has said it would bring in fully funded measures now to reduce the expected price rise in April.

Labour said it would also increase and expand the Warm Home’s Discount, targeting extra support to the squeezed middle, pensioners and the lowest earners, and preventing all of the increase in energy bills currently expected.

Labour would pay for this plan with a one-off windfall tax on North Sea Oil and Gas producers who have profited from price rises.

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

“Families and businesses in our city are facing an energy price crisis because a decade of failed Conservative energy policy has left us deeply vulnerable as a country. Labour wants to stop bills going up.

“That’s why we would give families security by taking fully-funded measures to save most households around £200 or more.

“We’d also target extra support on top of that for the squeezed middle, pensioners and lowest earners – saving over 30,000 households in Portsmouth up to £600 off their bills in total.

“Portsmouth families deserve far better, not more dither and delay from this Tory government.”

The Portsmouth MP recently launched his campaign calling for VAT on energy bills to be scrapped. To sign up, visit: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/sign-up-scrapping-vat-on-energy-bills/

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City MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment 

This week Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging our city’s commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.

This year we are marking 77 years since the liberation of the concentration camps of Europe and the end of the Second World War. On the 27th January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, people across the globe will remember.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘One Day’.

After signing the Book of Commitment, Stephen Morgan MP, commented:

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Portsmouth to reflect on the darkest times of European history.

As the Holocaust moves from living history, to history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the six million Jewish victims and also pay tribute to the survivors.

As I wrote in the book of commitment, the people of Portsmouth stand against prejudice and hatred in the world, then and now”.

Karen Pollock CBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

“As the Holocaust fades from living memory, it falls on all of us to ensure that their stories and the stories of the 6 Jewish million men, women and children brutally murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, are never forgotten.

We all have a duty to remember the Holocaust and to stand up against antisemitism and hate, now more than ever.”

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Shadow Minister responds to latest school absence data

Stephen Morgan MP Shadow Schools Minister has responded to figures showing 415,000 children were off school due to Covid on 20 January while a quarter of schools had 15% of their teachers and leaders off work.

 

The city MP said:

 

“Children and school staff are living the day-to-day reality of covid, but this government still doesn’t have a plan to support them.

 

“Pupil absence is soaring, and it is particularly alarming that almost a quarter of schools now have more than 15% of school leaders and teachers absent. 

 

“Labour has been clear ventilation, vaccination and testing are key to keep schools moving and delivering Labour’s ambitious recovery plan to help every child thrive.

 

“The government must immediately publish complete figures on its volunteer teacher drive and get a proper workforce plan in place to support staff and students. Our children must not endure another wave of covid chaos because this government is distracted trying to covering up rule breaking at the heart of Downing Street.”

 

 

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Keeping HMRC in Portsmouth: City MP responds

Responding to the announcement that HMRC will keep a presence in Portsmouth and the city will become of the regional hubs, Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I welcome HMRC’s commitment to establish a regional centre in Portsmouth, and potentially retain Lynx House, although I will be seeking urgent clarification about what this means for jobs.
“I have long-argued that closing Lynx House would be a disaster for local people and our city’s economy. That’s why I have been lobbying Ministers to protect these jobs from government cuts, liaising with trade unions, meeting with staff affected and raising concerns in Westminster.
“At a time when workload was due to rise five-fold, the threat to close Lynx House showed poor foresight and planning. I am pleased our city will now be one of the government’s regional centres.”
The MP has been campaigning alongside PCS to keep the presence in Portsmouth and protect local jobs.
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Portsmouth MP tours city’s ‘fantastic’ new Rainbow Fish Centre for children with special educational needs

Stephen Morgan MP has met with the first intake of pupils of the city’s recently opened Rainbow Fish Centre, and praised the work of local teachers for their efforts.

The £1.1m inclusion centre, part of Penhale Infant School in Fratton, will provide facilities for children who need additional support with their learning, as many of the city’s students catch-up from lost in-classroom learning because of the pandemic.

Visiting the centre based at the city MP’s former infant school, Mr Morgan toured the facilities with the Assistant Headteacher Jack Jones and saw children enjoying the new classrooms.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South and Shadow Schools Minister, Stephen Morgan, said:

It’s been fantastic to finally be able to see first-hand some of the brilliant work Penhale Infant School are doing at the Rainbow Fish Centre.

“The Rainbow Fish Centre is delivering critical work to help Portsmouth’s young people get the specialist learning support they need, and I want to thank all the incredible staff for their efforts.

“I want to make sure no child is left behind. All children, no matter their circumstances, deserve the necessary support to achieve the very best outcomes in life, but most importantly to live fulfilling and happy lives. I will continue to make this case to Government.”

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Don’t miss out: Stephen Morgan’s first 2022 ‘Pint with your MP’ session set to take place next week

Stephen Morgan MP is set to host his first ‘Pint with your MP’ session of 2022, with the event taking place next Sunday January 30th at 4pm.

The pop-up ‘Pint with your MP’ sessions are designed as informal opportunities for constituents to say hello to their local Member of Parliament and share issues and concerns about topics of interest both locally and nationally.

The Portsmouth representative is determined to take up every opportunity to have more face-to-face conversations with constituents safely after more than a year of restrictions, whilst also helping to support local businesses, as the city recovers from the pandemic.

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

“I’m looking forward to hosting my first ‘Pint with your MP’ event of 2022, after really useful and well-attended sessions last year.

“This is a great way for local people to share views and issues with me to take back to Westminster whilst supporting a local business.

“As Portsmouth’s voice in Parliament, it’s really important to be out and about and speaking with people to ensure that everyone’s views are heard, not just the loudest ones or those who have better access to technology.

“I hope these sessions have been a chance for others to come and speak to me in a way that is more accessible to them.”

The full address for the ‘Pint with your MP’ session is: The Royal Standard, Portsmouth, PO1 1DE

While Plan B restrictions are set to be lifted from Wednesday next week, attendees are encouraged to take reasonable precautions to feel safe to attend.

The event is open to all constituents and booking is essential. To confirm your attendance, visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pint-with-your-mp-tickets-219160333457?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

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New job opportunity: Office Coordinator

New job opportunity: Office Coordinator

Starting salary: £18,525 (with IPSA range up to £26,505)

Hours: Full time Monday to Friday (very occasional weekend and evening working)

Location: The constituency office at 72 Albert Road, Southsea

Want to help make a difference to peoples’ lives? 

Interested in working at the heart of British politics to help bring about positive change? 

Then an opportunity has arisen to join Stephen Morgan MP’s small constituency team based at the office in the heart of Portsmouth South.

Stephen Morgan is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Portsmouth South, the first-ever Labour MP for the constituency, and newly appointed Shadow Schools Minister.

A small constituency team works alongside the parliamentary office to assist with Stephen’s parliamentary duties and responsibilities as a member of the shadow frontbench.

This new and exciting role will help co-ordinate a range of administrative and essential tasks in a busy and effective office.

What to do next…

If you have what it takes to join the team, please submit a covering letter and CV electronically to: stephen@stephenmorgan.org.uk by no later than Monday 31 January 2022, 12noon.

Please note that due to the high volume of interest expected, applicants will only hear if they are called to interview.

During Covid-19, further assessments of shortlisted applicants will be undertaken via video conferencing.

For further information about Stephen’s work for Portsmouth and in Parliament go to @StephenMorganMP on social media or visit www.stephenmorgan.org.uk

 

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Aquind Stopped: Portsmouth MP responds

Responding to the Secretary of State’s decision to stop the Aquind interconnector project going ahead, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan, said: 

“The government have finally seen sense and stopped the disastrous Aquind project.

“This is a victory for the people of Portsmouth over years of uncertainty and Tory cronyism.

“I pay tribute to local campaigners who have helped me lead our City’s united opposition.

“I will continue to raise questions about how Conservative ministers came so close to allowing party donors facing corruption allegations to control a national infrastructure project.

“Without our efforts, this would not have been possible. Together, we have stopped Aquind.”

The Portsmouth South MP has long opposed the Aquind interconnector project, working alongside the Let’s Stop Aquind grassroots group.

Since his election he has grilled Ministers in Parliament, secured a dedicated debate on the issue, attended protests alongside local campaigners and met the project company to discuss concerns.

In September, Mr Morgan submitted a 6,200 signature petition to Parliament calling on the Business Secretary to scrap the project.

Mr Morgan has also consistently raised concerns about the project company’s concerningly opaque structure and finances.

Media reports from the BBC and Guardian revealed that Aquind owner Viktor Fedotov benefited from a $4bn alleged fraud in Russia. This seems to have been achieved through a complex scheme that funnelled government cash through layers of shell companies that were ultimately owned by Mr Fedotov.

Similar concerns have been raised about Aquind’s finances, with little information available about where its money is coming from, who is providing it, or whether similar complex financial structures are being used to hide this.

Mr Fedotov had been able to remain completely anonymous as the company’s owner using a rare exemption in corporate transparency rules, until his identity was revealed following an investigation by The Times in August 2020. Why this anonymity was necessary is not clear.

Aquind’s public face, Alexander Temerko, has also conducted a coordinated and concerted effort to influence British political figures.

Since the project started, Temerko has donated £700,000 to the Conservative Party. In addition to this, research done by the BBC has revealed that Mr Fedotov’s businesses have donated a further £700,000 to 34 MPs and their local parties. This includes a string of current and former Ministers in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Secretary of State was asked directly on Andrew Marr on 10 October if he was in favour of the project. He replied, “I have never commented on this specific project”.

However, letters obtained by The Times through a Freedom of Information request show the Mr Kwarteng indicated both his and the government’s support for the project when he was Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth.

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Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill – reaction from Stephen Morgan MP

Today the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill is due its second reading in the House of Commons, which I support. A high number of people have got in touch with me about the Bill hence why I am posting my views on my website.

I welcome its focus on recognising animals as sentient beings, replacing the protections lost through the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

I also agree that the Government has been dragging its heels on protecting our animals for years. We’ve seen lots of press releases, yet little action from Ministers.

Many of the Animal Welfare measures in the last Queen’s Speech were lifted directly from Labour’s Animal Welfare Manifesto, but I believe the Government has failed to grasp the full detail.

We can have little confidence in this Government’s commitment to animal welfare: their manifesto promised not to compromise on Britain’s high standards in trade deals, but the Australian trade deal, and the precedent it sets, risks outsourcing animal cruelty in the supply chain to other countries.

The Government is also turning a blind eye to the abuse of loopholes in the Hunting Act leading to wild animal cruelty, while they continue to allow trail hunting on land owned by Government Departments.

I also believe that the definition of an animal should be expanded beyond its current stipulations to include crustaceans and cephalopods, as a number of constituents have raised with me.

However, I agree with the broad principle of the Bill and Labour will be raising amendments to it at the next stage of its passage through Parliament.

Stephen Morgan MP

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City MP praises work of popular ‘Pompey Pirate Ship’ Literacy Hub

Stephen Morgan MP has praised the work of the Pompey Pirate Ship for its role in the city’s popular Literacy Hub scheme.

Visiting Pompey Pirate Ship with Northern Parade Junior School today, the Portsmouth MP saw first-hand with and Labour councillor Charlotte Gerada how the project works with children to get better at reading and writing (literacy), as well as finding a newfound passion for them outside of the classroom.

Workshops usually involve writing stories, diaries or film scripts, providing a fun and exciting way to encourage students to use their imagination. Each term, pupils will turn their writing work into a published book, film or even a radio show.

Pompey Pirates Literacy was first launched in September 2020 in the Charles Dickens Ward, where there is a high level of child poverty.

Government data shows only 67% of 10–11-year-olds in Portsmouth are meeting the expected reading level, 6% lower than the national average.

Despite this, Pompey Pirate Ship has become so popular that it is now already recruiting volunteers for a second ‘ship’, so it can continue to expand and reach more of the city’s children.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South and Shadow Schools Minister, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Pompey Pirate Ship has come on leaps and bounds since its launch back in 2020, and it’s fantastic to see the work it’s continuing to provide to Portsmouth children.

“It’s so important young people are able to enjoy and understand the power of reading and writing. Pompey Pirate Ship’s original approach to make learning fun is having an enormous impact on our city and I am so grateful to them for their efforts.

“I’m pleased to learn the scheme is looking for more volunteers as it continues to grow, so I highly recommend to those who may be interested to come down and get involved.

“Getting the next generation reading for the future is vital and I will continue to support projects working to secure the best outcomes for children in Portsmouth and across the country.”