Here's how the Prime Minister responded after a Portsmouth MP quizzed her on Knight & Lee closure

A PORTSMOUTH MP quizzed the prime minister on the future of the high street following the announcement that a historic department store would be closing.

Wednesday, 30th January 2019, 1:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 9:57 pm
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture: PA Wire

John Lewis announced last week that Knight & Lee on Palmerston Road, Southsea, would be closing in July. 

Portsmouth & Southsea MP Stephen Morgan raised the issue of the department stores closure, which will result in 127, during Prime Minister’s Questions today. 

The Labour politician asked Theresa May what her plan to save the high street is. 

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Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture: PA Wire

Mr Morgan said: ‘Unlike this government, John Lewis has never knowingly undersold Portsmouth.

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John Lewis announces that Knight & Lee in Southsea will close

‘But last week partners announced they are closing Knight & Lee, a much-loved store in the heart of my community since 1865.

‘And that’s just one example. Retailer after retailer, store after store, job after job, when will the government finally bring our high streets back from the brink?

Stephen Morgan MP speaking during PMQs today. Picture: House of Commons

‘My grandparents visited that Knight & Lee; my parents visited that Knight & Lee and I have used it frequently.

‘It is a great shame that future generations will not get to do the same.

‘I will ensure that I continue to work with other stakeholders to ensure that whatever comes next, is in the interests of the people of Portsmouth.’

Responding to the question, the PM said: ‘It’s a commercial decision for the company to take.’ 

Mr Morgan has also wrote to  the Managing Director of John Lewis, expressing the need for them to confirm their commitment to Portsmouth. 

He said: ‘Knight & Lee, first established in 1865, is a vital and well-loved asset in my constituency.

‘It employs many hardworking people across the region who have given so much to assist you in building such a reputable brand in my city.’ 

The MP has also asked John Lewis to consider improving ‘click and collect’ facilities in the city and to keep the jobs in Portsmouth.

The exact date of the closure of Knight & Lee has not yet been confirmed, however it will shut its doors for the final time during July 2019.