Jessica Morden

Labour MP for Newport East

News

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Having campaigned for many years, alongside Labour colleagues, for the Government to act on the Severn Bridge tolls, today's news is welcome. 

Reaction to Severn Tolls announcement

Having campaigned for many years, alongside Labour colleagues, for the Government to act on the Severn Bridge tolls, today's news is welcome.  Read more

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This week I took part in my colleague Paul Flynn’s Westminster Hall debate focusing on the UK Government’s plan to relocate the Newport DWP service centre to a new site in Treforest near Pontypridd.

This move would have a huge impact on staff who commute to work; with the majority of the workforce using public transport. Over 200 staff work at the Sovereign House office in Newport City Centre, delivering support and benefit processing services to members of the public claiming ESA and PIP

In the debate, I spoke on the importance of civil service jobs to Newport and the risks of losing the skills and expertise of Newport DWP staff. The rationale behind the move to Treforest remains unclear – especially as the Government could potentially be spending vast amounts to create a new ‘super-hub’ that  many staff will have difficulty travelling to.

It’s incredibly disappointing that the PCS Union and staff in Newport had to learn about the proposed relocation from a leak on an architect’s website. This was before Ministers had a chance to undertake an equality impact assessment of the relocation on staff.

In the debate I emphasised that, if the equality impact assessment confirms that staff with travel difficulties or caring responsibilities will experience significant problems getting to work, the Government should re-think its decision to move away from Sovereign House.

You can read the full transcript of the debate online here: https://goo.gl/eAKCU1

Debate on Newport DWP relocation

This week I took part in my colleague Paul Flynn’s Westminster Hall debate focusing on the UK Government’s plan to relocate the Newport DWP service centre to a new site...

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I'm supporting a new bill that would make attacks on emergency workers – including the Police, fire and ambulance crews – a specific aggravated offence.

The Crime (Assaults on Emergency Staff) Bill was presented to the House of Commons today by Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant.

Last year there were over 23,000 assaults on police officers; equating to 450 assaults a week and an assault on an officer every 22 minutes. And that’s just the recorded incidents: research from the Police Federation suggests that there are actually as many as 6,000 assaults on officers every day, with the average police officer being assaulted as many as 19 times a year. Similarly the number of attacks on South Wales firefighters has trebled since June 2016, and Welsh hospital staff were attacked more than 18,000 times at work between December 2011 and December 2016.

The vast majority of the public are rightly sickened by these attacks on frontline emergency workers, and want to see stronger legislation brought in to deter the culprits. It’s high time for a change in the law that provides protection for dedicated public servants who make huge sacrifices to protect us all, often in incredibly challenging circumstances.

Law must protect the protectors

I'm supporting a new bill that would make attacks on emergency workers – including the Police, fire and ambulance crews – a specific aggravated offence. The Crime (Assaults on Emergency...

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New statistics from Octopus Energy show that over 21,000 families in Newport East are over-paying on their energy bills by around £5.6million a year – the equivalent of £261 per household.

All three of the largest parliamentary parties called for a price cap in their manifestos, but current government plans would only target a fraction of those on rip-off tariffs. An inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority found that energy customers were paying on average £1.4 billion a year more than would be the case in a competitive market.

A cross-party group of MPs has now written to the Government urging it to make sure all consumers benefit from fair energy prices.

It’s worrying to hear how many families in Newport East are being ripped off, and much more needs to be done to protect those who are struggling to pay their energy bills. The energy market in the UK – where the dominance of the ‘Big Six’ stifles competition – needs to be reformed.

Action needed on rip-off energy bills

New statistics from Octopus Energy show that over 21,000 families in Newport East are over-paying on their energy bills by around £5.6million a year – the equivalent of £261 per...

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Today I questioned the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid MP on the need for clarity on how the extra costs of supported housing will be covered in the future.

Supported housing landlords are saying they’re delaying decisions about future developments due to the uncertainty of how supported accommodation costs will be paid for in the future. We need certainty now from the UK Government, and commitments that Wales will not see a cut in funding through the back door.

Wales has a greater reliance on supported housing so it should be fully exempt from the cap or receive the funding to match demand.

Stuart Ropke, Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru, has said:

“There are 38,500 units of supported accommodation in Wales, helping to support a wide range of families to live independently, including thousands of older people, people fleeing domestic abuse, and people with learning difficulties. As the ageing population grows, the need for supported accommodation will increase, but uncertainty over the future funding model is a cause for concern for landlords.

"It is vital that the UK Government brings forward a funding model that provides long term certainty to ensure existing schemes can continue supporting people and new schemes can continue to be brought forward across the UK”.

Certainty needed on future of supported housing

Today I questioned the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid MP on the need for clarity on how the extra costs of supported housing will be covered in the...

Last week I attended a Cancer Research UK reception in Parliament where I had a chance to meet up with the charity's dedicated volunteer Campaign Ambassadors.

Over the course of this Parliament, two million people will be diagnosed with cancer across the UK, and Cancer Research UK has asked for support in order to continue to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Cancer survival in the UK is still lagging behind other countries and too many cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully. In the Newport East constituency there are around 3500 cancer cases per year, and 1600 cancer deaths.

We must not underestimate the devastating impact cancer will have on people in Newport East now and in the future, so it gives me hope to hear that Cancer Research UK’s pioneering research is turning the tables on the disease. The outlook for new and better cancer treatments in the UK is bright. However, it is clear that there is a critical role for politicians to play in supporting the work of charities like Cancer Research UK helping to prevent and detect cancer earlier and bring innovative new treatments to patients faster.

One life lost to this terrible disease is one too many and that’s why I’m supporting Cancer Research UK in their mission to beat cancer sooner.

Matt Davies, Cancer Research UK’s Head of Public Affairs and Campaigning said: “At Cancer Research UK, we’re resolute in our ambition to see 3 in 4 patients surviving cancer by 2034. To achieve this we need cancer at the top of the political agenda. Survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years, but there’s still so much more to do and we cannot do it alone. Creating the right environment for cancer research alongside cancer prevention, early diagnosis and ensuring patients have access to the best possible treatments must be key priorities for the new Government.”

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Cancer Research UK Reception in Parliament

Last week I attended a Cancer Research UK reception in Parliament where I had a chance to meet up with the charity's dedicated volunteer Campaign Ambassadors. Over the course of...

The news that 300 high skilled manufacturing jobs are being created in Newport East is very welcome. This, and the impending South Wales Metro investment, will be a great boost to local residents and businesses. 

300 train building jobs to be created in Newport

The news that 300 high skilled manufacturing jobs are being created in Newport East is very welcome. This, and the impending South Wales Metro investment, will be a great boost... Read more

Yesterday, before an urgent debate on contaminated blood, the Government finally announced a Public Inquiry into what has been described as one of the worse treatment disasters in the NHS. I welcome this development for the families that have been affected in Newport East, who have campaigned relentlessly. Here's my contribution on their behalf in yesterday's debate.

Contaminated Blood Inquiry to be set up

Yesterday, before an urgent debate on contaminated blood, the Government finally announced a Public Inquiry into what has been described as one of the worse treatment disasters in the NHS.... Read more

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In Parliament this week I pressed the Government for answers over the proposed relocation of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offices in Newport to a new location in the north of Cardiff.

Speaking during Parliamentary questions to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, I said “I want to ask about the Government’s proposal to relocate the DWP service centre out of Newport to a new site north of Cardiff – the location of which is still unclear. Along with my honourable friend the member for Newport West (Paul Flynn MP) we clearly want to keep the expertise and services here, with 249 jobs right in the heart of our city.Can I ask the Secretary of State to meet with us so that we can put the case to him?”

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke MP, responded by saying that the Government wanted to minimise job losses, and pledged that the Employment Minister would meet with the two Newport MPs to discuss the case. Paul and I hope that we can have this meeting at the earliest opportunity.

Time for answers on Newport DWP office relocation

In Parliament this week I pressed the Government for answers over the proposed relocation of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offices in Newport to a new location in the...

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I attended a packed Westminster Hall debate on the 'State pension age for women' this week. Because of the high turnout of MPs, speeches were limited to two minutes. I was pleased to take my opportunity to speak up for women affected in Newport East. Here is my contribution to the debate:

I am grateful for the opportunity to join other hon. Members in speaking up for these women, who have worked hard all their life, working to a presumed retirement date, only to ​see the Government move the goalposts at the last minute, giving them little or no notice and, as we have heard, causing real financial hardship.

This is the first such debate in this Parliament, but it is just the latest in a long line of debates, questions and lobbies calling on the Government to right this wrong. It is necessary now because, up until now, there have been no positive messages from the Government, no mention in the Tory manifesto and no mention in the Queen’s Speech.

The WASPI women I have spoken to made their voices heard clearly in the general election by lobbying candidates, and voting for candidates who listened and committed to fight this huge injustice. The Government should not and cannot take these women for granted any more. Their voice will be heard and needs to be heeded. They are women who have sacrificed their careers for caring; who were unable to take up suitable workplace pensions, often due to unequal pay in the past. Many, because of ill health, are not able to work the extra years the Government now expect of them. That is illustrated by a constituent who asked me to raise her case and sadly died recently. At the age of 62, she had to give up work after 45 years after a long battle with cancer. She had a demanding job, and she just could not continue. The change meant that she was denied more than £38,000. She was unable to enjoy her retirement and was very worried about the financial hardship that that meant. That shows the real human impact of this Government policy. That is just one voice, but I ask the Minister to listen to the many thousands like her and work to find a solution to end this hardship and right this wrong.

Packed WASPI debate in Westminster Hall

I attended a packed Westminster Hall debate on the 'State pension age for women' this week. Because of the high turnout of MPs, speeches were limited to two minutes. I was...

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