As the MP for Newport East, I am very pleased to support the Newport-led, Gwent-wide bid for our city to become the 2025 UK City of Culture. I believe that we have a convincing case to make with a cultural offer that extends across heritage, arts, sports and music.

The title of ‘City of Culture’ is not just simply a tag but a huge opportunity.

The £300m economic boost that came with the successful 2017 City of Culture bid in Hull - another port city and regional hub with a similar socioeconomic profile to Newport - sets a precedent for what can be achieved.

Being a UK City of Culture would give a real boost to Newport - and the wider county of Gwent - and give us a global platform to show the rich history and distinctive character which makes our region so special. It would be an excellent opportunity not just to bolster our tourism sector, but to put culture at the heart of the city’s regeneration so that Newport can achieve its full potential as the cultural hub it deserves to be.

* I was grateful for the opportunity to visit Llanwern steelworks this month and catch up with representatives from Tata and the trade unions.

The plant remains a hub of activity, producing high-strength steels for the construction, engineering and automotive sectors.

Llanwern is not just a hub of productivity, with its output now some 2.2 million tonnes of steel a year, but of innovation too.

The state-of-the-art facilities at the plant have received £40m in investment to innovate over the past seven years, developing new technologies using the wealth of experience and knowledge of the 525-strong workforce.

Llanwern is at the cutting-edge: as demonstrated by the technology used at the world-class Automotive Finishing Line - which produces steels for Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, Nissan and other manufacturers - being adopted by Tata Steel in India.

I am so proud to have Llanwern steelworks in my constituency and I will continue to do everything I can in parliament to call on the government to protect our steel sector and create the conditions which will allow this vital strategic industry to thrive.

* This month I attended a special ceremony at Langstone Vale Crematorium where a new memorial has been unveiled to commemorate those who have passed away during the pandemic. The memorial is designed to give those who have lost a loved one in the pandemic a quiet place to visit and reflect.

Faith Williams, from Newport, created the design at the heart of the stone which includes a rainbow that represents the NHS and key workers and is a message of hope.

Well done to Westerleigh Group for creating this tranquil place for the bereaved and all those impacted by the pandemic, and to the team at Langstone Vale for all they do in challenging times.