Being the MP for Newport East, Jessica Morden stands to represent the city at an exciting time as throughout the next year Newport plans to transform, bringing a new shopping development next autumn and encouraging innovative businesses to locate in Newport. “I’m looking forward to the new development when it opens next year I think it will be great to see families using the city centre at night” she expressed.
Growing up in Cwmbran Jessica’s interest in politics stemmed from her family involvement. “My dad got selected for Cardiff north back in 1966 she explained, he talked about politics all the time and I was interested in school. I remember collecting for the miners’ strike and used to go on CND marches with mum and dad.”
Jessica, 46, joined the labour party after completing her education in Birmingham, “I grew up in a very Tory seat in Monmouth but finally Labour had a chance at winning the seat so I go involved in that. After the byelection I went to work for the MP 1 and then the Labour party as an organiser, and then eventually ran the Welsh Labour party.”
The £100m development to bring life back to Newport city centre is creating over 1,000 jobs with the introduction of shops, restaurants and a cinema. “I think it’s an exciting time coming up now”, Jessica acknowledged, “because we just had a big Newport summit, we’ve never had a higher profile interest in Newport before.”
Future plans have also encouraged advancement in other areas, Jessica adds, “There’s also an innovation company that’s been set up to take advantage of the European money there’s lots of support for local businesses and work going on, on the transport infrastructure.”
Being an MP
Amongst many duties of the job, Jessica takes pride in the individual cases that are solved every year by herself and her colleagues. “We do get a fair degree of success with people,” she said, “particularly at the moment either with the welfare cuts or the cost of living, we’re able to help with that, and each of those individual cases. That’s the really satisfying part of the job.”
Besides other achievements Jessica enjoys working with Newport West MP, Paul Flynn, and her role of “being an ambassador for the constituency and supporting local groups.”
Public speaking and Tony Blair
Having to address opinions in front of a wide audience Jessica talked about the jitters of the job with former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. “I remember he used to say he was always nervous when he went into every Prime Minister’s Question Time and when he went to meet his local party every month,” she revealed. And actually, a little bit of that is good for you because it keeps you on your toes.