This has been a long week in Westminster, starting with a Select Committee visit on Monday to an Immigration Removal Centre and not finishing until Friday, with a number of private members bills in the House that I wanted to contribute to.
On Wednesday evening I was fortunate to secure the adjournment debate, which was about sodium valproate, a highly effective drug for the treatment of epilepsy, but tragically causes foetal abnormalities if taken during pregnancy. I always pay credit in these debates to the fabulous campaigners from In-Fact, who have spent years highlighting the issues with the drug, and the slow movement from the Government to put an effective pregnancy prevention programme in place.
An adjournment debate is a thirty minute opportunity to highlight the issue, and for the first time, in a debate on valproate, I sensed there might be more movement from the DHSC to putting in place a bespoke redress scheme as Baroness Cumberlege recommended in her 2020 report.
There was good news in Southampton this week with the Freeport bid being confirmed. that has had cross party support and Hampshire County Council Leader Rob Humby and Southampton City Council Leader Satvir Kaur have both welcomed the news.
I hope to make it back Friday evening in time for late night shopping and the annual Santa rescue from the Town Hall - Romsey does Christmas really well and I am looking forward to a whole range of events over the next few weeks.