In this week’s ‘My View’ it would be remiss of me not to mention the Parliamentary votes last week and the new rules that have come into force in England to tackle the growing Omicron wave. In the end, MPs were asked to vote on three different measures: making face coverings mandatory in a wider range of settings, Covid-19 status certification for large events and mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers. I voted yes in each instance having deliberated very hard on this matter and having discussed the measures extensively with many constituents.

Whilst the information about the new Omicron variant is unclear, as a nurse with experience on the frontline during the pandemic I felt that pre-emptive action was needed to protect the Maelor Hospital and our local health services. Our health services are already under strain and the worst-case scenarios could put further pressure on GPs, surgery wait times and A&E services. Although the restrictions were England-only, as Wrexham is a border community with 25,000 people crossing the border daily, I felt that these restrictions were relevant to residents and will affect people and health services across our region.

With this in mind, I am also pleased that the UK Government has confirmed that the Welsh Government will receive an extra £135 million to progress the vaccine rollout and to support the wider Covid-19 response. This additional funding will be made available to provide greater certainty as we tackle Covid-19 during the crucial weeks ahead and is on top of the record funding settlement – the highest since devolution in 1998 – which was announced earlier in the year at the Autumn Budget. Following this, the Secretary of State for Wales and the Secretary of State for Defence have also agreed that another 98 military personnel will be deployed to Wales to help with the booster programme. This shows that, once again, the UK Government and our Armed Forces are here to support our nation when needed. Please get your booster when called!

Wrexham residents may also know that earlier in the year I was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Foreign Office, having been PPS to the Wales Office before this. The appointment was exciting and during which time I have supported the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, with meetings, engagements and in the Chamber, whilst also promoting the UK Government’s wider foreign agenda.

However, I recently resigned from this position to vote against the Government, a decision I made as a matter of integrity, duty, and principle. Since becoming the Member of Parliament for Wrexham in 2019, a goal of mine has been to champion our Armed Forces, servicewomen, and our veterans. With this in mind, one issue that I have particularly campaigned on is removing serious sexual assault from the military justice system and, as part of my inquiry into the experiences of women in the Armed Forces, I recommended that the Government do this.

The Ministry of Defence has decided not to move on this issue and during a recent vote in Parliament I took the decision to vote against the Government on the matter. As a result, I had to resign from my role as a PPS. Whilst I am disappointed to no longer be working with the Foreign Secretary and the excellent Foreign Office Ministers, I am incredibly proud to have stood up for service personnel who deserve nothing but the best.

Finally, I want to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda. As always if you are resident in Wrexham and need my assistance with any local or national issue, please make contact with me by emailing