Helen Morgan frustrated by PM's response to ambulance crisis in first Commons appearance

New North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan has said there is no time to waste helping her constituents after asking a question to the Prime Minister on her first day in the House of Commons.

Helen Morgan meets the Speaker after being sworn in at the House of Commons
Helen Morgan meets the Speaker after being sworn in at the House of Commons

As she walked into the chamber to be sworn in, the Liberal Democrat said she felt immensely proud to be there to represent constituents - if a little nervous.

"The nerves were a recognition of the huge amount of responsibility that comes with the role," she said.

There was a ripple of cheers and appreciation for the new MP in the chamber when she took the oath. Later, during Prime Minister's Questions, she persevered and was rewarded by an invitation to ask a question.

Mrs Morgan used the opportunity to ask whether the government will support a review of ambulance services by the Care Quality Commission.

It comes as patients face long waits for ambulances due to many being left off the road waiting to handover patients at hospitals. Meanwhile four Shropshire ambulance stations closed in the autumn, including two in Mrs Morgan's constituency, although West Midlands Ambulance Service said this would have no impact on response times due to ambulances being stationed across the county rather than at buildings.

“There is no time to waste in solving the local ambulance crisis which is a life and death situation in Shropshire," Mrs Morgan said.

Helen Morgan in her new office in Westminster

“It is essential that the Prime Minister and his Government tackle this crisis. It was disappointing to see him turn down my call for a full and proper review into services.

“What I heard from thousands of conversations with local people during the by-election, is that the local health crisis is the top concern in Shropshire. Yet the Prime Minister today couldn’t even acknowledge this and be willing to take action.

“I was elected as the MP for our area to stand up for our local health services and I will continue to do just that, holding the Prime Minister to account and making sure residents have a strong voice on their side.”

Mrs Morgan said the support from her peers had been greatly appreciated.

"They are very understanding of what it is like to be a new member. On my first day I had a very warm welcome from fellow MPs of all parties."

One of the warmest welcomes was from the Speaker of the House, who after a Covid-safe elbow touch said he was sure Mrs Morgan would enjoy her new role.

"I had a meeting with the speaker before I was sworn it and he gave me a very warm welcome. One of his roles is to have pastoral responsibility for the MPs," she said.

She is now busy setting up her office in Westminster.

"It is such an iconic building. You see the chamber on the television and watch MPs being interviewed in the Central Lobby. It hasn't really sunk in yet that it is my place of work."

"One of my initial worries is that it is such a vast building, I could get lost. However the staff here are superb and have given me such a lot of help."

However Mrs Morgan said she wanted to ensure that she spent as much time as she could in the constituency.

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