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My first blog since the general election

It's been a long while since I wrote my last blog. So the first thing to say is a huge thank you to everyone who supported me in the general election. I am proud and honoured to have been re-elected as your MP.

The campaign was marked by terrible tragedies at the Manchester Arena, and in London. The people who carried out the terrorist atrocities want to destroy everything we value about our way of life, including our democracy. Everyone who went to the polls to have their say stood up to their threats and hatred. Thank you all.

Terrible events and attacks have continued since our return to parliament. We had the appalling Grenfell Tower fire, a cyber-attack on the NHS, and last weekend, parliament was hit by such an attack too. We have been struggling to get our IT back and up and running, and I apologise for any delays in responding to emails. I'm pleased to say we are now fully functional again.

Which is more than can be said for the government. Theresa May has been humiliated in the election, losing her majority, and forced into a shabby deal with the DUP. Already, she's been forced to ditch large parts of her manifesto, had to back down on a vote on access to abortion for women from Northern Ireland, and it's very clear she has lost all authority and credibility, just as complex Brexit negotiations start.

It is a very worrying situation. Brexit threatens to bog down parliament and government for months to come. I'll be fighting as hard as I can for the best deal for my constituents. That's why, this week, I signed and voted for an amendment to the government's programme, calling for us to keep open the possibility of remaining in the customs union and single market once we leave the EU. There's a long way to go with the negotiations, and there will have to be flexibility and compromise. But I promised in the election campaign that I would always speak up for what I believe. That's what I did this week.

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