Stephen Morgan, Labour’s first ever Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, today pledged to fight for opportunity for all, regardless of birth, class or age.
The “Fratton lad” paid tribute to the public service workers who had encouraged him to believe he could achieve his dreams and in a passionate call to the city’s young people he said: “aim high, work hard and you will achieve. Never, ever, accept anyone telling you you can’t succeed”.
The Labour Member said he was motivated by a simple notion: “To ensure that the opportunities of a good education, a good home or a good job aren’t limited to the privileged few but can be enjoyed by all our citizens regardless of where they are born”.
In a wide-ranging speech that covered the city’s proud history and the MP’s own local roots, he lamented the fact that we aren’t doing enough to support the older generation that did so much to bring Portsmouth through its darkest days.
Stephen gave his maiden speech in the House of Commons during a debate about pay for NHS workers and public services, paying tribute to his own public sector worker parents – his father a former youth worker, his mother, a hospital cleaner.
In the ten-minute speech Stephen thanked the people of Portsmouth South for giving him the honour of representing them by saying:
“I promise, as long as I have the privilege of serving in this place, I will be an active local campaigner and strong national voice for Portsmouth, across every single community”.
Stephen won the seat from the Tories with a 21.5% swing in June’s snap general election, taking Labour from third to first.
On the public services he said:
“I want the people who keep our communities safe, who educate our children, who defend our great nation, who save lives, to be shown that the people in this place [The House of Commons] understand, value and respect them”.
On the challenges the city and nation faces he said:
“I want to help create a future that is better than the present, where hope replaces division, and everyone, and I mean everyone, is better off.
We know from our history there is no challenge we cannot face, by working together.
So this is my call to every member of this House, unite to tackle the every day challenges of the many, and by doing this, I know that Portsmouth and Britain’s best is yet to come”.
He concluded his impassioned speech by saying:
“Every day, when I, a Fratton lad arrive in this grand place, I will never forget who sent me here…
As my fellow Fratton Park attendees say: Play up Pompey!”