Portsmouth Labour MP ‘should rethink his party allegiances’ council boss says

MP supports city defence jobs

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LABOUR MP Stephen Morgan has come under fire from the Tory boss of Portsmouth City Council for his comments on the nation’s defence spending.

Over the weekend the Portsmouth South politician hit out at the government after chancellor Philip Hammond failed to mention an increase in defence spending during his budget speech in the Commons.

Since the speech there has been a small-scale rebellion among the Tories, with senior party members and defence ministers threatening to resign if more cash wasn’t pumped into the military.

However, Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, has sprung to her party’s defence.

She said the Tories have been committed to spending two per cent of the nation’s earning on defence – more than most other European nations.

In a scathing response to Mr Morgan, Cllr Jones said: ‘I can’t believe his cheek.

‘For the newly-elected MP Stephen Morgan to criticise the Conservatives over a “lack” of spending in defence is ridiculous, particularly considering the national leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn’s position on it which is one of the weakest Labour leader position’s on defence in living memory.

‘He is a man who is allegedly a prime minister-in-waiting who is yet to confirm if he will renew Trident.

‘If Mr Morgan is so concerned with the number of armed forces personnel in the UK and defence spending then perhaps he should reconsider the membership of his political party because it seems he is on the wrong party when it comes to defence.’

Mr Corbyn, a long-standing opponent of nuclear weapons, did in his Labour manifesto commit to renewing Trident if they were elected to power.

Tory plans, which could see up to 12,000 soldiers axed from the army, prompted widespread concern in the party.

Defence minister Tobias Ellwood said he would resign if they were agreed.

Liam Fox, international trade secretary, said a compromise deal could be agreed to scrap the cuts.