Focus on where you live:
I have had an intensive fortnight in the Commons, with my first questions as Shadow Justice Secretary last week, at which I asked whether the Government would review the Human Rights Act so that terrorist suspects can be deported.
Next I had to respond to the Government's statement on Lords reform, which is essentially being put on ice until after the election, because the Commons voted for an elected second chamber but the Lords for it to be appointed, so we currently have deadlock.
I also had to deal with the Corporate Manslaughter Bill, from which the Government attempted to exclude deaths in custody. If private companies are to be prosecuted for gross negligence causing a death, I did not see why prisons and police cells should be excluded. Prison suicides have increased this year, so I was especially pleased that we won this argument.
This week I led a Commons debate on the Government's disgraceful management of the penal system, with violent offenders being released early onto the streets simply because the jails are full. The split of Home Office responsibilities has already caused problems, with one department trying to lock up criminals and the other trying to let them out.
Parliament has now risen for the summer recess, and I will be using the time to be in the constituency, catch up on work and in particular keep an eye on important local issues, such as the expected announcement on the future of our sub-post offices.
I will also be attending local meetings like the one in Steyning this week on the future of our hospitals. I am disappointed that only one official event in my constituency has been organised by the Primary Care Trust - in Pulborough - and I hope that every large village will hold its own public meeting so that people can have their say.
26 July 2007
"I pledge to work hard for everyone in the constituency, to stand up for local people, and to be a strong voice at Westminster for your concerns"