It is a great honour to serve first and foremost as the MP for Monmouth. Alongside my UK Government role as Secretary of State for Wales, I work hard to carry out both of these responsibilities.
I usually start the week with various engagements in Wales on a Monday before I travel to Parliament. One recent visit to Welsh Women’s Aid enabled me to hear about the fantastic support this charity offers to women and families across Wales.
We talked about survivors of domestic abuse and violence – and how they are definitely not victims. If you are experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are worried about a friend or relative, you can call the Live Fear Free Helpline for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0808 80 10 800.
For those of you who look at my Twitter account, it may seem as though I spent the whole of Wales Week London 2023 just going to a lot of social receptions at different embassies. In reality, I was taking part in the largest annual programme of events to celebrate and promote everything that is great across Wales.
It was an opportunity to showcase investment opportunities, our speciality as a nation in the areas of defence, aerospace and engineering, and the potential for exporting Welsh lamb around the world.
We have already started shipping Welsh lamb overseas to America in large quantities, with US Ambassador Jane Hartley telling me she is a big fan! A special reception was held at the Ambassador’s official residence in London and what a thrill to have Monmouth Male Voice Choir there performing.
Choir chairman Huw Edwards compared the evening along with musical director Lewis Hutton. Everyone was blown away by the sound of Welsh voices echoing through Winfield House.
I was also delighted to welcome pupils from Ysgol Gymraeg Y Fenni who sang at 10 Downing Street on St David’s Day.
Efforts are gathering pace to obtain a permanent war memorial for the Goytre Fawr area. Fundraising has begun and I understand next steps include promoting the idea by public consultation.
This project is being spearheaded by a small group of residents who have undertaken extensive research with the aim of bringing a lasting commemoration to Goytre village. I very much hope it will receive the support of the local community as war memorials are an important historical touchstone and focal point for remembrance.