A national voice on defence
As the grandson of a D-Day veteran from Portsmouth, our MP recognises the importance of our armed forces and the vital work they do. Stephen is highly active in a parliamentary scheme to gain direct experience of the British armed forces and the challenges they face. He meets with senior officers in the Naval base regularly, and is visiting troops on active service across the country and overseas. As well as joining servicemen and women on live training exercises, he’s led a debate in Westminster on armed forces pay, and on the Public Accounts Committee, specialises on defence matters holding the Government to account.
“It has been an honour to meet so many hard-working personnel and listen to their experiences in service. I continue to take what I learn back to Parliament, so I can continue to speak with authenticity on issues affecting our forces personnel. I’ll always be a strong voice for our armed forces in the House of Commons.”
In Parliament, Stephen has repeatedly pressed the government to ensure adequate funding for our armed forces backing calls for an increase, urged for the worrying recruitment gap to be tackled and pushed the Defence Secretary to do more to support our veterans.
Welcoming the Shadow Defence Secretary to Portsmouth, he took the shadow minister on a visit to the Naval Base to meet senior officers, inspect the new carrier and discuss securing the base’s future in our city. Hosting an event for constituents to discuss the Royal Navy’s future capabilities, Stephen secured a former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord West to share his insight and advise our MP on technical issues.
“I will always fight for a better deal for our armed forces. Under the Tories our armed forces have been shrunk to a record low and personnel are leaving at an alarming rate. The hard-working men and women who serve our country are integral to our national security and it is high time the Tories recognised this.”
Portsmouth voted to leave the EU, yet more and more research suggests people here are worried about the implications of Brexit on the city. The Government is letting those who voted leave and remain down in their chaotic handling of Brexit.
Stephen is concerned about a hard Brexit on Portsmouth’s economy and jobs and is listening to local views and that of our city’s businesses.
Of particular concern is Portsmouth International Port, which faces a collapse in trade and disastrous traffic congestion post-Brexit. Stephen has written to the Brexit Secretary requesting an assessment of the impact on Portsmouth and the wider region, has repeatedly urged Ministers to visit the port and has submitted numerous written parliamentary questions about the matter.
Stephen is pushing for stability and certainty for public services and local businesses. He said:
“Our country can only thrive when our businesses do. Our city’s jobs will always be the priority for me and the government’s complacency on Brexit is incredibly concerning.
As this Government seeks a drastically different relationship with the EU, people in Portsmouth, whose jobs and businesses rely so heavily on trade with our European allies, need honest and accurate analysis so they can plan accordingly. They deserve far better than the incompetence and uncertainty the Tories have delivered so far.”
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