Stephen and Kirsty out and about in Charles Dickens ward
Stephen and Kirsty out and about in Charles Dickens ward

“I will continue to stand up for Charles Dickens residents from the green benches of Westminster” vows city MP as it’s announced he’s not re-standing as a councillor 


Portsmouth Labour has today announced that Charles Dickens ward councillor and group leader Stephen Morgan MP will not be re-standing as a councillor at the next local elections.


After winning the Charles Dickens seat, Cllr Morgan became the party’s group leader on the council in September of that year. Under his watch the group has jumped from 2 to 6 councillors winning in wards the party has never secured before.


The inner city ward is one of the most deprived in the community with high levels of child poverty, a significant student population and the city centre and Naval Base. Cllr Morgan beat a Lib Dem of 12 years standing on the council to take the seat for Labour in May 2016.


With Morgan’s leadership the group has been opposing Tory and Lib Dem cuts to local services, encouraging investment in neighbourhoods and our high streets and led the charge to declare a climate emergency.


Confirming the news today Cllr Stephen Morgan said:


“Having the huge opportunity to serve as a councillor for Charles Dickens ward, in the city I love, with some great characters, inspirational residents and fantastic community spirit, has been one of the greatest honours of my life. There are many moments over the four years I will always cherish.


If you go into public service I believe you should always see it through. That is why I wanted to serve the full term as a ward councillor and do my best for all residents, at all times, even with the privilege of being elected as their MP.


As my term of office ends, I have not sought re-selection on the council as a local councillor. I am delighted that Kirsty Mellor has been chosen as Labour’s candidate in the forthcoming elections this May. 


As a local resident, Kirsty’s passionate defence of domestic abuse services and dedication to fighting welfare cuts, means she’s well placed to carry on the campaign work I’ve been doing to improve life chances for all residents in this special part of Portsmouth.


With all the challenges the area faces – the lack of affordable housing, our city centre neglected and families struggling to make ends meet – I look forward to working alongside Kirsty, Cllr Cal Corkery and other local residents to continue to stand up for Charles Dickens residents from the green benches of Westminster”.


Kirsty Mellor, Labour campaigner for Charles Dickens ward said:


“I am proud to have the opportunity to continue the exceptional work Stephen has done in our ward and for Portsmouth.


He’s been a brilliant councillor who has always carried out his duties inspirationally. All of us in Portsmouth South are very lucky to have him as our MP.


I am excited to work with Labour and to build upon the successes we’ve seen locally since Stephen’s election to council. I will always speak up for the vulnerable in society, always putting others’ interests before my own and make sure the residents of Charles Dickens have their voice heard“.


Amanda Martin, Chair of the Constituency Labour Party said:


“On behalf of Portsmouth Labour Party, I want to thank Cllr Stephen Morgan for his tireless work and dedication throughout his time as a councillor in Charles Dickens ward. 


He has consistently been a voice for his ward, championing the needs of residents and relentlessly fighting their corner. Battles he will continue to fight as the constituency MP for Portsmouth South and member of the frontbench”.


This May a third of council seats are up for election. Portsmouth Labour hope to make further council gains following the General Election result which saw Portsmouth South securing the largest increase in Labour’s share of the vote in the country, more than tripling Stephen Morgan’s majority and the Lib Dems recording their worst election result since 1918.

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