Thank you to everyone who took part in the recent elections in Newport East.

I was delighted to see John Griffiths re-elected as our local MS on a very good night for Welsh Labour.

I have worked closely with John over the years - we share an office in Newport - and I know just how hard he and his team work for constituents.

I was very pleased to see Jayne Bryant MS re-elected too, and I know both John and Jayne will continue to be strong voices for the Newport East and Newport West constituencies in the Senedd.

I was also pleased to see Jeff Cuthbert re-elected as our Police and Crime Commissioner in Gwent. Throughout his first term Jeff been vocal in highlighting UK government cuts to policing, and has taken strong action to ensure that Gwent maintained one of the highest spends on neighbourhood policing in the country in difficult times.

On May 6 there was also a resounding win in the Victoria ward by-election for Farzina Hussain, Newport's first female councillor from a BAME background. Farzina is well known in Maindee - the area in which she has always lived - and I know she will be a real asset for the community working alongside her ward colleague Cllr Majid Rahman.

* The Queen's Speech delivered on May 11 was buzzword-heavy but remarkably policy light. I spoke in the debates following the speech to highlight some of the key areas of legislation which were missing.

These included a long-awaited employment bill to deal with the scourge of insecure work and exploitative working practices like 'fire and rehire'.

I know of constituents who have been caught in this trap - most recently at British Gas - and their accounts of the way they have been treated are a reminder of the urgent need to reform employment practices so that everyone is treated with dignity and respect at work.

For all the talk about 'levelling up', there was also no news in the Queen's Speech on future funding for Wales or any meaningful indications on support for manufacturing and the industry which should be at the very heart of the national recovery from the pandemic - steel. The push for government action on sky-high industrial energy costs and improved procurement policies which will benefit UK steel producers will continue.

I also share the frustration of campaigners and charities across the country that the Queen's Speech failed to incorporate long-awaited reform of the benefits system for terminally ill people.

We are now fast approaching the two-year anniversary of the government's review into access to welfare benefits for terminally ill people, and we are still no closer to the removal of the scrapping of the cruel six-month and three-year rules which forces people to spend their final months grappling with a complex, uncaring system.

I've raised this issue regularly with ministers over the last year alongside the likes of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Marie Curie, but the responses we've received have consistently vague and non-committal, with promises of updates 'soon' regularly passing into the ether. It's simply not good enough - terminally ill people and their families deserve better.