My regular newspaper column: Your MP Writes

The tragic bombings in Brussels once again highlight the evil of Islamic extremism; a growing threat to the freedoms which we take for granted in Europe. Early last week, I met with campaigners in London who are concerned at the growth of jihadi Islamism and its effects on women. They warned that radicalism is on the rise in Britain. Women in parts of London are coming under increasing pressure to wear the hijab and within some communities, I’m told forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honour-based violence are widespread. Furthermore, Sharia law courts are being established across the UK to determine a mounting number of civil cases.

More interestingly, these campaigners are women from migrant backgrounds themselves and hold politically left-wing views. Unless we do more to demand social integration and respect for European values, then I fear that deadly terror attacks of the sort we have seen in Paris and Brussels will continue.

Can Argus readers name any of the EU Commissioners? I could only name one out of the 28. Yet these men and women have a hand in up to 50 per cent of the laws and regulations we enact in the UK. The organisers of the Remain camp are trying to scare people from voting to leave Europe in the referendum on June 23 with all kinds of fears of the unknown. Yet the real unknown is with us already. It is time to get back control of our money, our borders and our laws. Tomorrow evening (Tuesday March 29 ), I will be speaking at a rally at Rodney Parade in Newport with activists from a range of different political parties who are all coming together to campaign for Brexit.

Details of the route for Velothon Wales 2016 have now been released. I’m pleased to say that the new organisers, Run 4 Wales, seem to be taking more care to give out proper information to local residents and to meet with them – unlike last year. Indeed, a residents’ meeting has been arranged at Llanfoist Village Hall on Wednesday April 5 at 7:00pm. I shall be attending. Nonetheless, with at least one Monmouthshire hotel fully booked for a wedding during the weekend of the Velothon, I do hope a flexible attitude will be shown towards people who need access. For the record, I am a keen cyclist and actually use my bike to get to work in Westminster.

*Published in the South Wales Argus on 28 March 2016*