Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan promoted to Labour's shadow defence minister

LABOUR’S Stephen Morgan has vowed to fight for Britain’s military after he was appointed to shadow defence minister.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 4:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 5:34 pm

The Portsmouth South MP’s promotion to Labour’s frontbench comes after a meteoric rise to power, which saw him first elected to parliament in 2017.

He will now focus on defence procurement - grilling the government on how much it spends on military weapons, vehicles and tech.

The 38-year-old, who is retaining his shadow communities minister role, said he was honoured by his new position, which comes ahead of Labour’s election of its new leader.

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Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP has been promoted to shadow defence minister. Here he is pictured during his re-election in December. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Portsmouth-born Mr Morgan said: ‘I have always been clear the government has no higher duty than the protection of our citizens and the maintenance of national security.

‘Yet since 2010, we have seen 5,000 Royal Navy jobs cut, 12 ships axed, 91 defence sites sold off and the lowest defence spending for 20 years.

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‘It is only right that these brave men and women have equipment to match their capabilities. Through my work on the public accounts committee, I have seen the equipment and infrastructure black hole resulting from a decade of Tory corner cutting and indifference.

‘I welcome the opportunity to join the Shadow Defence Team to speak up for our nation’s armed forces and to hold the government to account over their poor defence record.’

During Mr Morgan’s time in parliament, he has backed a campaign calling on Westminster to give better support for armed forces veterans.

He has also been among those backing calls by The News for the government to act and tackle the nation’s veteran suicide crisis.

His role will now see him working alongside Labour’s shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith.

Reacting to his appointment, she said: ‘From work on veterans’ welfare to grilling government over low quality military housing, Stephen Morgan has been a steady hand on defence since he came to parliament.

‘I have no doubt he will be a capable and diligent addition to an already effective shadow defence team and look forward to working alongside him in highlighting the litany of defence errors made by this government.’

Mr Morgan takes over his new defence role from Wayne David, MP for Caerphilly.