MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week has been dominated by the horrific news coming out of Tunisia, as the death toll of British victims continues to rise following the shocking attack on holidaymakers in Sousse.

The deplorable aggression directed at innocent people who were simply enjoying their holiday is deeply saddening. My thoughts are with the families of the victims at this difficult time and particularly that of Denis and Elaine Thwaites, the Fylde coast couple killed in the incident.

The current priority is helping Britons who remain in Tunisia whilst providing information for families concerned about the welfare of loved ones. Foreign Office staff are in hospitals and hotels looking after British nationals in conjunction with tour operators and airlines. A UK police team has also been deployed to assist with the process of identification of victims.

This is the most significant attack on British people since 7/7, and highlights the ongoing threat from ISIL. This act of evil and brutality demonstrates why we must confront this kind of extremism, wherever it happens, at home or abroad.

ISIL may use ancient barbarism in its methods of killing, but it is modern in its propaganda techniques, using social media as its primary weapon. That is why we must give our police and security services the tools they need to take on this menace and look at how we can work with countries like Tunisia to counter this online propaganda.

The UK must also help deal with it at its source, in places like Syria, Iraq and Libya. That means supporting governments to strengthen weak political institutions and tackling the instability that creates ungoverned spaces in which terrorist groups thrive. We must also confront the extremist ideology, which hijacks the religion of Islam and drives horrific acts such as those seen in Tunisia.

On a more positive note, it was a pleasure to see so many people attend this year’s Lytham Club Day and we certainly had the weather to ensure it was a memorable celebration.

After walking in the parade, I attended a local party and even tried my hand at the game of rounders on the Green.

However, my sporting prowess was nothing compared to those of other successful Britons and I would like to take this opportunity to send my best wishes to the England women’s football team, currently flying high at the World Cup, and to tennis star Andy Murray, who is attempting to regain his Wimbledon crown. Good luck.

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