OVER the summer, I have been honoured to be appointed shadow security minister, in addition to my current role as shadow solicitor-general.

I am very conscious of the responsibility this places upon my shoulders.

There can be no more important duty for a government than doing all it can to keep the public safe.

I will, as people would rightly expect, be scrutinising the government robustly and holding it to the highest standards.

I will draw on my background as a barrister before entering Parliament and my experience as a shadow law officer since last September to hold the government to account in this vital policy area.

The terrible events in Barcelona last week are an awful reminder that terrorism knows no borders.

We send our deepest condolences to the people of Barcelona and have in mind all those who have been killed or injured in this attack.

The stories from the attack were truly heart-breaking, and my heart goes out to the family of seven year-old Julian Cadman, the British boy who was killed in the attack.

We are also immensely grateful for the work of the emergency services in helping the victims in such difficult circumstances.

The solidarity that has been shown from around the world with the people of Barcelona is inspirational.

Whoever is the target and whether these atrocities happen in Manchester, London, Paris, Barcelona or anywhere in the world, the purpose of these dreadful terrorists is always to drive us apart.

Instead, let’s show them that they only bring us closer together.

The summer is a good time for MPs to visit local organisations and campaign.

I’ve been working to save Cwmbran Pension Centre, including travelling on public transport with Sian Cousins, a PCS union representative who is one of the affected employees.

The commute to the proposed new DWP office location north of Cardiff was over five hours long, which is clearly impractical, especially for part-time workers.

Offices elsewhere to which my constituents currently commute, including in Newport, are also affected.

Another example, I’m afraid, of the Tory Government’s proposals not working in the real world.

On a more positive note, it was a pleasure to visit Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre this week to help unveil a bench dedicated to distinguished former councillor Marlene Thomas.

Marlene was dedicated to her community and to local organisations, including the arts centre.

She also had a great interest in culture, so I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute to her.

It’s also reminded me what a great place Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre is to visit.

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