Jessica Morden

Labour MP for Newport East

News

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I was pleased to link up with Welsh Labour colleagues and members of the Fairtrade APPG to show support for Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from the 26th February-12 March. TV's Nick Hewer was also in Parliament to promote this important campaign.

To find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight visit https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/…/Current-…/Fairtrade-Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight 2018

I was pleased to link up with Welsh Labour colleagues and members of the Fairtrade APPG to show support for Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from the 26th February-12 March. TV's...

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I've signed a pledge to #PassOnPlastic with Sky Ocean Rescue – a commitment to reduce single-use plastic consumption.

Launched in January 2017, Sky Ocean Rescue aims to shine a spotlight on the issues of ocean health, particularly single-use plastic, and inspire people to make small changes. The #PassOnPlastic pledge has been signed by 113 MPs, all making a public commitment to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics.

Sky Ocean Rescue’s whale, Plasticus, which is made up of a quarter of a ton of plastic – the amount that enters our oceans every second - arrived outside Parliament to bring to life the scale of the problem.

I am delighted to join to the campaign to raise awareness of ocean health and look at ways to reduce my own plastic consumption. It is deeply worrying that there are 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, with 8 million tonnes more ending up there every year. We all have a role to play in protecting our oceans – that’s why I have signed my pledge to #PassOnPlastic and encourage others to do the same.

Find out more about Sky Ocean Rescue on social media @SkyOceanRescue and on the Sky Ocean Rescue website: skyoceanrescue.com

#PassOnPlastic

I've signed a pledge to #PassOnPlastic with Sky Ocean Rescue – a commitment to reduce single-use plastic consumption. Launched in January 2017, Sky Ocean Rescue aims to shine a spotlight...

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Today the Labour Party launched our new Animal Welfare Plan.

The 50 point draft policy document includes recommendations to introduce a ban on the live export of animals for slaughter, consult landlords on giving tenants the right to keep a pet, strengthen the Hunting Act, enshrine the principal of animal sentience in law, end the badger cull, implement a review of animal testing and expand affordable vet care for people on low incomes.

The policy document, ‘Animal Welfare For The Many, Not The Few,’ will go out for public consultation and proposes appointing an Animal Welfare Commissioner to ensure Government policy across Whitehall is continually informed by the latest scientific evidence on animal sentience. The Commissioner would also ensure animal welfare standards are always considered in new legislation and are maintained in Britain’s involvement in international bodies and post-Brexit trade deals.

The proposals have been endorsed by the League against Cruel Sports, Compassion in World Farming and WWF.

Constituents regularly contact me on a range of animal welfare issues; from the need to properly enforce the hunting ban, to ending the ivory trade and banning third party puppy sales. I regularly take up these concerns in Parliament and with government ministers, and am supportive of local voluntary groups and charities who work so hard to protect domestic and wild animals. I recently spent a day out with the RSPCA in Newport, and while I was impressed by the excellent work they do, I was also struck by the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Never has the future of animal welfare looked so uncertain under this Conservative government with a chaotic, race-to-the bottom Brexit. Too often animal welfare policy is dictated by ‘campaign of the month’ and is haphazard and piecemeal in approach. Labour’s new Animal Welfare Plan sets out an ambitious vision for excellence in farm animal welfare with a plan to end out-dated practices that severely restrict natural animal behaviour. Labour’s vision is one where no animal is made to suffer unnecessary pain and degradation and where we continue to drive up standards and practice in line with the most recent advances and understanding.

Labour’s Defra Team will be holding a series of roundtables and engagement events over the coming weeks. Find out more online at https://labour.org.uk/issues/animal-welfare-plan/

Labour proposals for action on animal welfare

Today the Labour Party launched our new Animal Welfare Plan. The 50 point draft policy document includes recommendations to introduce a ban on the live export of animals for slaughter,...

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I was pleased to support the Mayor of Caldicot's Cup which has been introduced by Caldicot Town Council to celebrate unsung work in the community.

Well done to the award winners: Brownie leader Harriet Till and army cadet Lance Corporal Joshua Prout.

You can read the full report in the Forest Review here: http://www.theforestreview.co.uk/article.cfm?id=107932&headline=Mayor%E2%80%99s%20honour%20for%20teenagers&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2018

Pictured - Harriet receiving her award from the Mayor Phil Stevens and the Mayor's Cadet Bryn Silcox (above); Joshua collecting his award from the Mayor (below)

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Mayor of Caldicot's Cup

I was pleased to support the Mayor of Caldicot's Cup which has been introduced by Caldicot Town Council to celebrate unsung work in the community. Well done to the award...

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In this week's Welsh Grand Committee I called for improvements to woefully inadequate cross-border rail services.

Last week in the Commons chamber I highlighted chronic overcrowding on commuter services between Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction and Bristol in the face of further fares increases.

In a question to Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, I said “If the Secretary of State is serious about improving cross-border connectivity between parts of my constituency and Bristol and beyond, will he get the Department for Transport to improve the cross-border services which take my constituents to work in Bristol and further afield, as they are woefully inadequate."

Welsh Grand Committee

In this week's Welsh Grand Committee I called for improvements to woefully inadequate cross-border rail services. Last week in the Commons chamber I highlighted chronic overcrowding on commuter services between...

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Today I joined other women MPs and peers to celebrate 100 years since the first steps to universal suffrage were taken, with some women getting the vote. However, the Representation of the People Act in 1918 was far from the end of the struggle for democracy in Britain, as initially only 40% of women were able to vote – those over the age of thirty with a property qualification. It wasn’t until a decade later in 1928 that women were finally given the same voting rights as a men. Like the Chartists before them, many women who battled to secure the vote – and the right for women to stand for Parliament – never lived to see their struggle immortalised in the statute book.

In 2018 it’s important that we pay tribute to the sacrifices made by ordinary women and men to secure the democratic freedoms we enjoy today. Like the Chartists before them, many women who battled to secure the vote – and the right for women to stand for Parliament – never lived to see their struggle immortalised in the statute book.

As the first – and unfortunately still only – woman MP in Gwent, I owe a great debt of gratitude to the suffragettes, including trailblazers like Newport’s Lady Rhondda. Gender equality in Parliament is still a long way off. While a record number of women were elected in the General Election, only 32% of MPs are female compared to 42% of AMs in the Welsh Assembly. The campaign to ensure equal representation and an equal voice for women will continue.

Women and the vote - 100 years

Today I joined other women MPs and peers to celebrate 100 years since the first steps to universal suffrage were taken, with some women getting the vote. However, the Representation of...

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Today in Parliament I challenged the UK Government over upcoming changes to Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) which have not been properly communicated and will hit low-income households hard.

Support for Mortgage Interest is currently paid to 124,000 people and provides help towards interest payments on mortgages to those who are out of work or of pension age.

SMI is currently paid as a benefit, but from 6 April 2018 it will be paid as a loan secured on a person’s house which will attract interest charges. Labour has opposed this change, arguing that it significantly weakens the safety net for mortgage-payers who now have to wait longer for less support. Last year the Government also increased the waiting time between an initial benefit claim and first SMI payment up to 39 weeks - the waiting time had been reduced to 13 weeks by the last Labour Government.

In the Work and Pensions departmental question time I said “This change to support for mortgage interest will hit thousands of low-income households – half of whom are pensioners – and it will hit them very hard. Does the Minister acknowledge that this change has not been well publicised, and at the very least the Government should pause and communicate what the change will actually mean for people financially?"

I’ve spoken to pensioners who make up almost half of those receiving SMI and they are frustrated that Government funded support is available to others in the form of Housing Benefit, but this relatively small group of people will no longer get help. There are few options for people living in their own home but struggling with the mortgage, where social housing would be unable to pick them up and they are unlikely to be helped with housing benefit in the private rented sector.

Challenging Government over changes to S.M.I.

Today in Parliament I challenged the UK Government over upcoming changes to Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) which have not been properly communicated and will hit low-income households hard. Support...

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It was great to join Newport East's Rob Hepworth - whose charity the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation have campaigned for a ban on the ivory trade - at this week's WWF reception in the House of Commons marking the closure of the domestic ivory trade in China.

WWF Ivory Trade Reception

It was great to join Newport East's Rob Hepworth - whose charity the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation have campaigned for a ban on the ivory trade - at this week's...

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In Parliament this morning I again spoke on behalf of constituents who work in Bristol and beyond who continue to put up with chronically overcrowded rail services - even as fares increase.

I urged the Secretary of State for Wales to talk to UK Government Department for Transport and sort out the situation.

Further call for Government action on rail

In Parliament this morning I again spoke on behalf of constituents who work in Bristol and beyond who continue to put up with chronically overcrowded rail services - even as...

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I wanted to invite you to contact me with any issues or concerns that you want me to raise over the next year. 

I was delighted to be re-elected to represent the people of Newport East in Parliament. It is an honour and a privilege which I do not take for granted.  Thousands of you contacted me in 2017 and I really do appreciate you taking the time to get in touch, as the issues I raise are those you raise with me. 

As well as speaking up in debates and questions and scrutinising Government Ministers in the House of Commons, I continue to serve as an opposition whip with responsibility for Brexit, Wales, Women and Equalities, and Prime Minister’s Questions.

Parliamentary Report

I wanted to invite you to contact me with any issues or concerns that you want me to raise over the next year.  I was delighted to be re-elected to... Read more

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