Portsmouth MP under fire after school cash plea to Theresa May

Cllr Stephen Morgan, MP
Cllr Stephen Morgan, MP

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FURIOUS city chiefs have lashed out at a Labour MP after he told the prime minister Portsmouth was facing a ‘cash crisis’ in its education system.

Councillor Donna Jones hit out at Stephen Morgan after the Labour politician took a potshot at the city’s education funding.

Cllr Donna Jones and David Williams of Portsmouth City Council, launch the Sleepout Campaign at Fratton Park which highlights the plight of the homeless.'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171677-1 PPP-171112-104009006

Cllr Donna Jones and David Williams of Portsmouth City Council, launch the Sleepout Campaign at Fratton Park which highlights the plight of the homeless.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (171677-1 PPP-171112-104009006

It comes after the Portsmouth South MP grilled Theresa May in Parliament, telling her that under the Tories schools had suffered.

Mr Morgan claimed city schools will have lost more than £3m under Tory rule by 2019, forcing teachers and parents to buy basic supplies like pencils and glue sticks.

But an annoyed Cllr Jones has hit back, accusing Mr Morgan of being a hypocrite. Speaking to The News, she questioned his real intentions of his question to the PM.

Cllr Jones said: ‘I am disappointed that once again Stephen Morgan MP – who has a second job as city councillor in Portsmouth – has failed to raise issues surrounding education with me, but has found the time to write, submit and propose a question about education for Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQ) in Parliament.

Cllr Donna Jones and cllr Stephen Morgan, MP, clashed over education funding

Cllr Donna Jones and cllr Stephen Morgan, MP, clashed over education funding

‘As the Labour leader on the city council he has failed to appoint a Labour spokesman (for education) for an entire year, he has failed to attend a single education briefing meeting and he did not attend the education decision meeting last week where he would have been given the opportunity to fully understand the schools programme including funding as well as making us aware of any concerns he has.’

Mr Morgan retaliated, saying: ‘As Cllr Jones is well aware, Labour currently only have two councillors, which makes it impossible to cover all the council portfolio areas and committees.’

He added: ‘From my regular visits to schools, and frequent discussions with headteachers and staff, it is clear that our city is not getting the investment it needs.

‘People in Portsmouth rightly expect their MP to raise concerns about government funding with the government – not just the local council leader.

‘I find it bizarre that when our city’s schools are set to be cut by £3.3m by 2019, local Tories are wasting time on political attacks rather than standing up for our young people and their teachers.’