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City MP to back binding vote on Emergency Budget for struggling families

Stephen Morgan MP is set to back a binding vote, forced by Labour, calling for the government to bring forward an Emergency Budget to address the cost-of-living crisis, and to urgently start tackling the low growth leaving the UK economy exposed.

The Official Opposition has repeatedly highlighted how low growth and now stagflation are leaving Britain more exposed to the cost-of-living crisis rippling across the country.

With figures released this morning showing the highest levels of inflation for 40 years, the party is urgently calling on the government to create a more pro-growth, pro-business environment post-Brexit, where higher productivity and more private investment is leveraged in to help Britain lead the pack globally.

Labour has said its plan to buy, make and sell more in Britain; to fix the holes in the government’s patchwork Brexit deal; and its Climate Investment Pledge to decarbonise the economy and create good jobs across the country is vital for creating more certainty, boosting businesses and stimulating growth.

It comes after recent news that the Chancellor’s most expensive business tax break of all time – the super deduction – costs more than the investment it brings in.

Labour’s amendment will be voted on during the Queen’s Speech debate on Wednesday. Unlike how the government treats opposition day debates, MPs are required to vote on the amendment.

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

“Our city and the country face a cost-of-living crisis, and a growth crisis.

“Wages are being squeezed, our tax system is unfair and there is no plan for the future of our economy. None of this is inevitable but a consequence of government policies and Conservative choices.

“Labour has a new vision for a fairer and more prosperous economy. That’s why the Conservatives must back our motion today, not just for them to come forward with an Emergency Budget to tackle the cost-of-living crisis in Portsmouth, but to set out the plan Britain deserves to get our economy firing on all cylinders.”

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Cost of living: Portsmouth MP to vote for windfall tax on oil and gas producers’ excess profits

Stephen Morgan MP is set to vote with Labour on its motion for a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producers’ excess profits, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to grow.

Labour’s amendment will be voted on during the Queen’s Speech debate on Tuesday. Unlike how the Government treats opposition day debates, MPs are required to vote on the amendment.

Labour first called for the windfall tax on 9 January, to fund a VAT cut on home energy bills and expand and increase the Warm Homes Discount, saving families struggling with soaring costs up to £600 off their bills.

Since then, the party has called on the Conservative Government to bring forward this change almost 250 times.

It comes as BP and Shell alone have made £12.37bn of profit in the first three months of 2022 – despite Cabinet ministers describing these companies as “struggling” when defending the Conservatives’ refusal to implement a windfall tax.

Analysis by the Labour Party on Sunday showed the expected profits of North Sea oil and gas firms in 2022/23 are higher than the combined rise in energy bills for every household in the UK.

As well as growing support from the Conservative backbenches, there is also widespread public support for a windfall tax, including senior business figures such as the chairs of Tesco and John Lewis.

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

“As energy bills rise by record amounts for families across Portsmouth, it is shameful that Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak still refuse to back a windfall tax that could help tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

“Today, Labour will give MPs another chance to support our one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits to bring down bills.

“Local Conservative MPs must now back this measure to bring down the energy costs of their constituents, or explain why they continue to oppose measures that would ease their cost-of-living.”

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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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Heating costs soar as City MP calls for ‘urgent action’ to boost affordable swimming pool access

Stephen Morgan MP has called for ‘urgent action’ to be taken to boost affordable local access to swimming pools, after accusing decision-makers of ‘sitting on their hands’ as the cost of heating pools continues to rise.

Swim England last week warned that heating bill increases of up to 150% will lead to the widespread closures of UK swimming pools unless something is done.

It comes after the repurposing and closure of the Pyramids Centre and closure of Eastney swimming pool in Portsmouth alone.

The city has now only has just a few options that are available to the public, as Swim England has also forecasted a wider 40% reduction in the number of available swimming facilities in the country by the end of the decade.

It has also said this would leave 73% of local authorities short of the equivalent of at least one swimming pool.

In addition to questioning Ministers in parliament on this issue, the Portsmouth MP has met with Swim England to discuss the provision level of local swimming facilities, wider national challenges and how the cost of living crisis is impacting affordable access to swimming facilities in Portsmouth and across the country.

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

“Decisions to reduce access to affordable swimming across the country and in Portsmouth have real consequences for our city’s communities.

“Instead of sitting on its hands, Government should be doing more to encourage swimming for pupils and people of all ages, and the council should be getting on with delivering this locally.

“Warnings from Swim England should be focusing minds, not continuing to leave our community as an afterthought.

“It was useful to meet with the organisation in Westminster last week to discuss what needs be done here in Portsmouth and across the country, and how I can continue to lobby others for investment in local facilities.

“I will continue to push the council and Government to get serious about this growing problem.”

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Russia sanctions British MPs: City MP responds

Responding to news that the Portsmouth South MP has been sanctioned by Putin’s Russia for speaking up for democracy and the rights and freedoms of the people of Ukraine, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“This is a badge of honour as far as I am concerned.

“Since Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion I have stood proudly with the people of Ukraine who are bravely defending their country.

“I’ll also continue to raise concerns in the Commons about the influence of Putin-linked oligarchs and donations to the Tories, as well as our city’s opposition to the disastrous Aquind project.

“Putin’s bully boy tactics won’t stop me from standing up for the values of freedom and democracy in Parliament. That’s what the people of Portsmouth expect me to do”.

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Local MP demands emergency budget as figures reveal Brits could spend £10bn extra at the fuel pump

Stephen Morgan MP has called on government to act over the spiralling cost of living crisis with an emergency budget, as figures show the impact of soaring petrol prices on families in Portsmouth.

New analysis by Labour has revealed that families in Portsmouth and across the country will fork out an extra £10bn on petrol, compared to just this time last year.

The Chancellor made a fuel duty cut the centrepiece of his plan to tackle the cost-of-living, but that cut has been swallowed up by the soaring cost over the year.

The figures come as oil and gas producers, including Shell and BP, took in billions in soaring profits, with BP hailing “more money than we know what to do with”.

And this week working people in Portsmouth were hit with a tax hike in their pay packets this week after the Chancellor chose to raise national insurance. The Chancellor has raised taxes 15 times in total, costing families £1,060 this year.

Labour today reiterated its call on the government to bring forward an emergency budget to tackle the Tory cost of living crisis. This would prioritise five measures including with a one-off windfall tax on the soaring profits of oil and gas producers to help households through the crisis with up to £600 in support.

Labour would also ramp up home insulation, scrap the unfair National Insurance hike, and provide support for struggling businesses.

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

“This is a savage extra cost for households right across our city. From Pompey pensioners, to hard working people already struggling to make ends meet.

“The Conservative government needs to set out an emergency budget to tackle its cost of living crisis – and support Labour’s call to put money back in people’s pockets.

“Labour’s plan would help households through this crisis with up to £600 cut off energy bills, funded by one-off windfall tax on the booming profits of oil and gas producers.

“We would turbocharge our transition to clean transport so never again are the British people left so exposed to unstable foreign oil.”

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City MP meets refugees with Portsmouth charity City of Sanctuary

Stephen Morgan MP has met with local refugees during a meeting with charity Portsmouth City of Sanctuary.

During his visit, the City MP also toured some of the facilities used by the charity to support refugees with their cases, as well as meeting Trustee and Founder, Shamila Dhana, to discuss ongoing issues and challenges.

Portsmouth City of Sanctuary runs a number of projects in Portsmouth for asylum seekers and refugees, including projects to promote integration, reduce social isolation for migrants in the city, build skills, empower, and promote friendship, volunteering and well-being amongst migrants.

The organisation is currently running gardening projects, bicycle projects, walks, dance sessions, and football sessions in the city.

It comes following the government’s announcement of its intention to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing, despite the Refugee Minister Richard Harrington MP saying only the week before that there was ‘no possibility’ of it happening.

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

“The work Portsmouth City of Sanctuary is doing is vital, helping to ensure the city plays its part to support those fleeing persecution.

“It was useful to meet with refugees here in Portsmouth, and speaking to them it is clear government needs to do more to support them and their families, who have been forced into such desperate circumstances.

“I was also really grateful for the opportunity to speak with Shamila and her team to learn more about the current issues and challenges they face.”

The city MP is backing the charity in encouraging local people to donate any women’s bicycles to support asylum seekers and an ask for more volunteers to help with English classes. If any constituent can help in this way they should get in touch with Mr Morgan or the City of Sanctuary team directly.

Following a number of local groups and constituents getting in touch with Mr Morgan about the government’s proposed Rwanda Asylum Processing Plan and announced changes to the Border Force,  the city MP commented:

“The proposal to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is a desperate and shameful attempt by Mr Johnson to distract from his own law breaking.

“It is an unworkable, unethical and extortionate policy that would cost the UK taxpayer billions of pounds during a cost-of-living crisis, and would make it harder not easier to get fast and fair asylum decisions.

“The Royal Navy are critical to our defence and national security, and should be left to concentrate on the growing threat from Russia, not forced to fix the failures of Conservative ministers.”

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Portsmouth MP backs Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign

Stephen Morgan MP has pledged his support to children and young people with a vision impairment through Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign.

At a Parliamentary event hosted by the charity Guide Dogs, the Portsmouth MP met children, young people and their families to talk about the challenges they face in the education system.

Recent research conducted for Guide Dogs found that 69% of teachers lack confidence that they have the right skills to support disabled children, including those with a vision impairment, to reach their full potential.

This is reflected in outcomes for children with sight loss, who are significantly behind their peers in terms of academic attainment.

Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign is calling for greater recognition of vision impairment throughout the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) system. The critical role of specialist professionals needs to be prioritised, and more support should be given at an earlier stage to help prevent young people with sight loss from falling behind.

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

“It was a pleasure to join Guide Dogs charity, families and dogs to hear about its All Things Equal campaign in Parliament this week.

“80% of our learning is through sight and that’s why children with sight loss in Portsmouth and across the country need specialist support and services.

“Yet all too often children with sight loss are not being given the adjustments they need. I will continue to speak up in Parliament to secure the support children with sight loss need.”

Blanche Shackleton, Head of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns at Guide Dogs said:

“Children and young people with vision impairment tell us they want to grow up enjoying the same opportunities as their classmates. But all too often, they are being let down by the education system that fails to give them the support they need.

“We know that the lack of support in childhood can have a far-reaching impact. Just one in four working age adults with a vision impairment are in employment.

“That is why we are calling on the Government to make all things equal for children and young people with vision impairment, so that they have access to the support they need.”

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Partygate: Portsmouth MP backs investigation into whether PM lied to Parliament

Stephen Morgan MP has backed an investigation to be launched into whether the Prime Minister lied to Parliament on breaking covid laws in Downing Street.

Labour Leader Keir Starmer MP tabled a motion in the House of Commons today, with support of other opposition party leaders, to ask the Privileges Committee to investigate whether statements made by the Prime Minster about Downing Street Covid breaches deliberately misled MPs, which would amount to contempt of Parliament.

It comes after numerous statements made by the Prime Minster to the House of Commons about events in Downing Street which breached Covid laws, leading to the Metropolitan Police fining both him and Chancellor for.

The Privileges Committee polices the privileges of the Commons and has powers to hold people in contempt of Parliament. It has existed in some form since the 17th century to monitor the conduct of MPs and to investigate when asked to by the House.

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

“The Prime Minister broke the Covid laws he instructed millions of others to follow, in Downing Street, and then lied about it.

“That’s why I’ve supported this cross-party motion for the Privileges Committee to investigate whether he knowingly lied to Parliament, in addition to the people of Portsmouth and the country.

“In a day of chaos from the Tories, the Prime Minister didn’t even have the confidence in his own Conservative colleagues to back him and at the eleventh hour, dropped the whip.

“The values that uphold our democracy – honesty, respect, integrity – are being slowly eroded every time a defence is made for why he could not come clean to Parliament about breaking the law in the first place. It must end. Britain and our great city deserve better.”

The committee will not begin its investigation until the inquiries currently being conducted by the Metropolitan Police about No10 Covid breaches have been concluded.

FAQ:

What is the Privileges Committee being asked to investigate?

The Prime Minister has made numerous statements to the House about his knowledge of events reported to have taken place in Downing Street and the Cabinet Office during the coronavirus lockdowns. The fact that he and the Chancellor have now been fined makes these statements highly questionable.

The Privileges Committee is being asked the investigate whether these statements were deliberately misleading. If they determine that they were, this would amount to contempt of Parliament.

What powers does the Privileges Committee have?

The Privileges Committee has wide-ranging powers including the ability to request documents from the Government as part of its inquiries – this could include the full Sue Gray report and photographs. It will report back to the House on its findings and can also recommend sanctions, including suspension or expulsion, if appropriate; these would then need to be agreed by the House.

Why would the investigation not start until after the police processes have concluded?

The police should be allowed to proceed with their investigations without any perceived impediment. At the same time, there are already questions about the important issue of whether the House has been misled and Members should take a decision immediately that this matter should be investigated as soon as is appropriate.

How long would the investigation take?

The length of the investigation is most appropriately determined by the Privileges Committee. The motion therefore does not specify when the committee should report by, but given the public interest, it would likely be concluded as quickly as possible.

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Portsmouth MP comments on Labour forcing House of Commons vote on whether PM misled Parliament

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has responded to the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Commons following the issuing of a penalty fine by the Metropolitan Police last week.

Labour are leading other opposition parties in drafting and tabling  a motion later this week to force a vote on whether Mr Johnson lied to Parliament, as well as be referred to the House of Commons standards committee.

Commenting, Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Despite holding a birthday party for himself in Downing Street, the Prime Minister claims he failed to understand he was breaking the rules he instructed millions of others to follow.

“His excuse for an apology today is a slap in the face for the people of Portsmouth who diligently followed the rules. But they know he’s a liar. And deep down, so does he.

“The Prime Minister lied to Parliament, and I will be voting for him to found as such on Thursday.

“Tory MPs should listen to their constituents, have the courage of their convictions, and vote with me in the Commons on the opposition motion. They must also send no confidence letters without any further delay to trigger a vote within the Conservative Party on Mr Johnson’s future. The party’s over.”