Labour group backs change in Portsmouth council leadership

Today the Labour Group voted with the Lib Dems to end four years of Tory rule in Portsmouth. Gerald Vernon-Jackson, as the new council leader, must now work with other parties on the city council.

The Labour Group will support the administration if and when it is in the best interests of the city and delivers our positive plan for a fairer Portsmouth, a city which works for everyone.



Portsmouth’s new Labour team visited Parliament today to meet with city MP Stephen Morgan and key members of the Shadow Cabinet

The visit to the House of Commons follows three gains at last week’s local elections and Labour’s share of the vote increasing by 12%, the highest of all political parties in Portsmouth.

New councillors Tom Coles, George Fielding and Judith Smyth, joined Cllr Yahiya Chowdhury in meeting the group leader and Portsmouth South Member of Parliament Stephen Morgan.

The group met with Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary, and deputy party leader Tom Watson.

Topics high on the list for discussion included better funding for Portsmouth, more resources for local schools, and ending Tory and Lib Dem austerity. Under the Tories, local government has been cut by over 40%, our city’s schools are set to lose £3.6m, and 1,000 police officers have been lost already.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

It’s so good to have a growing Labour team in Portsmouth. Working together, we will stand up for the public services we all rely on, both on the council and up in Westminster. 

The Government have their head in the sand over so many issues coming up on the doorstep in our great city and it’s great to have new councillors elected to fight for a fairer city which works for everyone”.

Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Communities Secretary added:

It was a pleasure to catch up with the new Labour councillor team and congratulate them on last week’s election results. 

I wasn’t surprised to see Labour in Portsmouth gaining in wards we have never won in before, and making significant progress in others, putting the party in a great place for future elections.

I will be working with Stephen on taking forward the ideas we discussed and know the team will serve Portsmouth well”.

Fratton’s new councillor and City MP praise work at Kingston Rec

The sunshine is back and Kingston Rec off St Marys Road reopened to the public ahead of an official reopening next month – with families across Fratton and beyond enjoying the new facilities.

Cllr Tom Coles, Fratton’s new ward councillor paid the park a visit this weekend with his family and city MP Stephen Morgan.

Fratton Big Local created a new design with additions like a double zip wire and a water play area in consultation with local people. The transformation was made possible though local grants ensuring the £300,000 met local


Cllr Tom Coles said:

“Our park has been transformed and will be the envy of every community in Portsmouth. I encourage every Fratton family to pay it a visit. 

My thanks to Anna and the team at Fratton Big Local for delivering yet another successful project for our community”.

Stephen Morgan MP added:

It was a pleasure to pop back and see the completed works at the Kingston Rec on a sunny day following a wander round on a wet day in April. 

Being the park I went to growing up in Fratton, I’m hugely proud of those who have made this important project a success. 

I look forward to working with the team to continue their good work”.

Labour won here – again

Portsmouth Labour made progress towards taking back control of the city council this week, following a series of successful results across the city.

Labour candidates were elected in Fratton, Central Southsea and St Jude wards, with the share of the vote up +12% according to analysis by the BBC.

The party also did well, but did not win, in a number of other wards across the city, narrowly losing in Paulsgrove, beating the Lib Dems to second place in Eastney and Craneswater and helping to make St Thomas ward a three-way marginal for further local elections next year.

In St Jude, Cllr Judith Smyth made history being the first ever Labour councillor for the ward following Stephen Morgan’s historic general election victory in the constituency last year. George Fielding unseated the longstanding Lib Dem councillor overturning a significant majority, whilst local man Tom Coles took the seat for Labour in Fratton.

The Labour Group is now five strong with Cllrs Smyth, Fielding and Coles joining Cllr Yahiya Chowdhury and Cllr Stephen Morgan MP.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“This year’s local elections for us were about demonstrating we could build on the historic win in Portsmouth South at last year’s general election.

I am over the moon we have taken seats from both the Tories and Lib Dems by offering a credible alternative to their running of the city over the years.

I look forward to working with the team to deliver on the promises we made on the doorstep and taking action to build a fairer city which works for everyone”.

Cllr George Fielding, Central Southsea ward councillor, said:

“These elections were an opportunity to tell the Tories and Lib Dems that they have ran the city for too long.

We ran a positive campaign across the whole city offering residents a plan which would ensure a team who would stand up for our schools, our police and help protect local services.

I’m delighted the people of Central Southsea have put their trust in me and other new Labour councillors”.

Portsmouth MP meets Pompey owners at Westminster


Portsmouth South MP today met with Michael Eisner and family in Parliament to discuss Portsmouth Football Club and the future of the city.

Part of the visit included a tour of the Houses of Commons and Lords and a meeting with the family following their purchasing of the Club last year.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:


“It was a real pleasure to welcome Michael and his family to Parliament today.


They have such exciting plans for our city and football club, and are as convinced as I am that we are very much a city and team on the up.


I used the opportunity to offer my support as a city MP to help achieve the Club’s ambitions.”




All aboard! Portsmouth Labour hit the road ahead of local elections


Labour candidates and members joined Stephen Morgan MP, Portsmouth’s Labour Group Leader on the battle bus as it toured the city wards

Portsmouth Labour painted the town red this weekend as they hopped aboard their battle bus ahead of this week’s important local elections. The vintage routemaster bus stopped at several locations across the city visiting key locations on a route from Paulsgrove to Old Portsmouth, visiting a group of cyclists, litter pickers, and campaigners hosting street stalls and public consultations.

Candidates Judith Smyth, Tom Coles, George Fielding, Graham Heaney, David Horne, Luke Evans, Raj Ghosh, Rumal Khan, Sue Castillon, Liam Turish and Sumel Chowdhury joined Cllr Stephen Morgan and Cllr Yahiya Chowdhury to spread news of Labour’s positive plan for the city across their wards.

Voters will go to the polls from 7am to 10pm this Thursday 3rd May, and Cllr Morgan has called upon people in Portsmouth to get out and make sure their voices are heard.

Cllr Stephen Morgan MP, said:

‘It was fantastic to get out across the city with our brilliant candidates and speak with local people about what a Labour council could do for them.

Tory cuts have savaged vital local services here in Portsmouth. Living standards have dropped, our schools have been cut, and our NHS is starved of the resources it needs.

The Conservatives are making us pay more, but we are getting less.

Labour have a positive plan for our city. We’ll take Portsmouth forward, investing in truly affordable housing, social care, and make a fairer city works for everyone.

Thursday is your chance to get out and send a message to the Tories that Portsmouth can do far better with Labour.’

Balancing the Books

Labour’s manifesto is fully costed, with all current spending paid for out of taxation or redirected revenue streams.

Our public services must rest on the foundation of sound finances. Labour will, therefore, set the target of eliminating the government’s deficit on day-to-day spending within five years and is committed to ensuring that the national debt is lower at the end of the next Parliament than it is today.

Labour believes that government should not be borrowing for day-to-day spending but that future growth depends on investment.

Labour will make sure the country has:

  • a fairer tax system
  • an end to tax loopholes
  • no rise in income tax for those earning less than £80,000pa
  • no increase in VAT or NIC
  • a strengthened, truly independent Office for Budget Responsibility

Portsmouth Labour wants to build on this to develop a successful and diverse local economy, supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and increasing full-time skilled employment opportunities. Some examples of how we can do this include:

  • addressing problems of high rents and business rates for SMEs
  • actively working to expand skilled apprenticeship opportunities in SMEs
  • ending zero hour contracts within Portsmouth City Council

If Labour councils around the country can do this, then why not Portsmouth.

‘Enterprising Barnsley’ is the economic development arm of Barnsley’s Labour City Council. Since formed, they have helped create 340 new businesses, attracted 40 companies to relocate and expand, created 4,000 jobs and provided support to 1,600 companies.

Our economy now, is suffering from years of neglect. Inequality has ballooned as it’s shifted towards low-paid, insecure jobs. Labour is determined to change this.

                   Delivering a fairer, more prosperous society for the many, not the few.