MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

At the time of writing, I have just heard the significant news that a European court ruling has paved the way for Abu Hamza al-Masri to be finally extradited from the UK.

His extradition is long overdue, and I must pay tribute to the tireless work of the Home Secretary, Theresa May, who has been determined to see this outcome through.

This ruling will hopefully bring an end to a legal saga that has lasted eight years at great expense to the UK taxpayer.

While the conclusion of such cases is so often unclear, I am extremely hopeful that this will finally signify the end to this affair.

Many constituents have written to me in the past, frustrated with this case and others, and I must say I have been just as perturbed as they have.

We must show the others, of a similar ilk to Abu Hamza, who seek to abuse the UK’s Human Rights laws, while seeking to spread unrest and religious hatred, that they will be dealt with swiftly and efficiently – we can never be allowed to be seen as a ‘soft touch’ with such cases.

I will certainly be following the case very closely in the coming weeks.

I must also take this opportunity to pay tribute to the two police officers who lost their lives since I wrote my last column.

PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes both died in an attack in Mottram, answering what was supposed to be a routine callout.

I was extremely saddened to hear of this attack, and it was right that a vigil was held in Manchester to commemorate their lives.

Having spent time out on patrol with the Blackpool police, and seen firsthand the professionalism of those who protect Westminster, I know how dedicated and hard-working our police force is.

We must never forget the service that they provide to this country on a daily basis.

My thoughts and prayers are with their friends and families at this time.

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