I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all South Wales Argus readers a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Thank you to all the groups and organisations across Newport East who have put on celebrations in the community this year: it's been lovely to attend local events including the Christmas lights switch-ons in Caldicot and Loftus Garden Village in Lliswerry, the Magor Frost Fayre and Raven House Trust's Christmas raffle draw.

This has been another challenging year for so many of us, and the emergence of the Omicron variant has shown that the pandemic is still with us.

We remain indebted to the emergency service workers who have worked so hard to keep us all safe over the last year, and who will again be giving up time with family and friends over Christmas. A big thanks also to the many NHS staff and volunteers who will be assisting with the booster roll-out over the coming weeks. There is still a way to go, but the vaccine roll-out continues to offer us hope of a brighter times ahead.

* Congratulations to newly-elected Newport City councillor Gavin Horton who secured a big win in this month's Victoria ward by-election.

Gavin, a former steelworker and a well-known local businessman, was elected with a comprehensive 64 per cent of all votes cast. I know he will be a great local representative for Maindee, serving alongside his excellent ward colleague Farzina Hussain.

I look forward to working closely with Gavin, Farzina and John Griffiths MS as we take up issues on behalf of residents in Maindee.

Many congratulations also to Fatmanur Aksoy, the newly-elected member of the Welsh Youth Parliament for Newport East.

Fatmanur, who attends St Julians Comprehensive, is passionate about environmental and health issues and will bring a lot of enthusiasm to the role. It was lovely to catch up with Fatmanur and her family at the Riverfront in Newport earlier this month and I look forward to working with her during her term as MYP.

* Lots of Newport East constituents have contacted me to voice their disgust following the apparent Downing Street parties that took place during lockdown last year. I share the sense of anger that so many feel about this debacle.

While so many families were facing the sadness of spending Christmas apart or not being able to say a proper goodbye to loved ones, the Prime Minister and his officials were seemingly breaking rules and laughing – at all of us - as they covered their tracks.

As Keir Starmer has rightly highlighted in Prime Minister's Questions, this isn't just about a party - it's a matter of trust and upholding basic moral standards in public office. All too often it seems to be one rule for this government and another for the rest of us, and I couldn’t agree more. The public rightly feel insulted, and the buck stops with a Prime Minister who continues to shun responsibility.

* I spoke from the despatch box in last week's Christmas adjournment debate as Shadow Deputy Leader of the House. Rounding up for Labour in the debate, I highlighted some of the UK Government's failings over the last 12 months and spoke out on a number of issues which constituents have raised with me throughout 2021. You can watch all of my speeches and questions in Parliament on my new YouTube channel - Jessica Morden MP.

As always, please do get in touch if you need anything or would like to let me know your views. You can email me at jessica.morden.mp@parliament.uk, or call my office on 01633 841725. For updates on my work you can also follow me on follow me Twitter (@jessicamordenmp), Facebook (Jessica Morden MP), or Instagram (@jessicamorden2021).