I was pleased to watch some of the coverage of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration this week. Finally the United States has elected a woman, and a woman of colour, on the presidential ticket. Hopefully this will usher in a 4 year term of stability and unity for our greatest ally. I know the job of bringing that country back together will not be easy, but a new beginning for the USA.
Parliament is still sitting remotely, which makes participation something of a lottery. I have applied to speak in two back bench business debates this week, and was selected to ask a question about touring visas for musicians in the Urgent Question on Tuesday. The sitting which was scheduled to be held this Friday, when I was hoping to speak in favour of Philip Dunne’s Private Members Bill the Sewage (Inland Waterways) Bill, has been cancelled as part of the covid-19 restrictions. But for all those who have written to me in support of the Bill, it will come back hopefully as soon as possible.
The Select Committee this week took evidence in private from the Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins, about the new strategy on violence against women and girls. Lockdown has taught us a great deal about the vulnerabilities of domestic abuse victims in their own homes, and as I said last week I am pleased the PM has put such emphasis on safeguarding those who might come to harm. I hope the new strategy is the landmark change we need.
Finally it is Cervical Cancer Prevention week and I have been pleased to be working with charities like Jo’s Trust to highlight the importance of cervical screening to prevent this terrible disease. Cancer Research UK estimate that 99.8% of all cervical cancers could be prevented if picked up early enough, a reminder of how important the screening is.