Here's the latest Argus column by Newport East MP Jessica Morden:

IN PRIME Minister’s Questions last week I spoke about the importance of the steel industry in Newport and pressed Boris Johnson on the critical need for liquidity support for UK steel producers, who have been hit by a significant drop-off in orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK Government has been slow to act on behalf of our steel sector through the crisis: whilst French and German steel producers received vital liquidity support within ten days of lockdown being enforced, UK steel companies are still waiting for this three months on.

The prime minister did acknowledge the severity of the situation in response to my question, but this needs to be backed up with action.

In the longer-term, it’s imperative that the government recognises the vital role that Welsh steel can play in the economic recovery from the pandemic.


This will require a positive procurement policy from the government which ensures our steel is used in major construction and infrastructure projects like HS2 and an auto scrappage scheme.

I’ll be fighting for that in Parliament on behalf of our local industry and the wider supply chain in Newport East.

Any industrial strategy worth its salt must have steel at its heart and we neglect our manufacturing base at our peril.

- Thank you to everyone who contacted me ahead of last week’s debate on free school meals.

This was an Opposition Day debate convened by Keir Starmer and the Labour frontbench calling on the government to reverse their decision not to provide free school meals to pupils in England over the summer holidays – a policy which would have resulted in 1.3 million children going hungry.

After pressure in Parliament and from campaigners, including footballer Marcus Rashford, the government was forced into a welcome u-turn.

While this was great news, it’s important to note that here in Wales the Welsh Labour Government had already acted to ensure that our children receive free school meals through the summer - another example of Wales leading the way on social justice policy-making in the UK.

- Well done to the Magor Action Group on Rail (MAGOR), who have submitted applications for funding through the Department for Transport’s ‘Restoring Your Railway’ fund.

The group has applied for two different rounds of this funding – the New Stations Fund and the Ideas Fund, which I am proud to be sponsoring their bid for as the local MP.

A new station for Magor is a common-sense and relatively low-cost proposal.

The population of Magor and Undy is expected to rise to 10,000 within a few years, and estimates suggest a station could reduce local car journeys by up to 80,000 a year - helping to bring down pollution on the busy B4245 and nearby primary schools.

It would also alleviate pressure on Severn Tunnel Junction, which has experienced some of the highest levels of passenger growth of any station on the Great Western mainline.

I wish MAGOR well with their bids and the campaign will continue to have my full support.

  • Contact Jessica Morden on 01633 841725 or via