LAST weekend was a busy one and also a momentous one for the UK. It was very encouraging for British sport to see the triumph of both the British Lions and Andy Murray in tense and exciting games.

On Saturday I was outside Tesco Metro with the Trussell Trust supporting their collection for the Salisbury foodbank. Foodbanks provide a valuable role in providing for families in times of deep need and I am pleased to be able to continue to lend my support.

The main political story of the weekend was the deportation of the hate preacher and suspected terrorist Abu Qatada. It is only disappointing that it has taken 12 years – and hundreds of thousands of pounds in taxpayerfunded legal fees – to get to this point.

I look forward to the Home Secretary’s proposals to scrap the Human Rights Act and reform our relationship with the European Court of Human Rights so that cases like this are not delayed by unprecedented and unjustifiable decisions in Strasbourg.

I was able to put a question to the Home Secretary during her statement on Monday expressing dismay that Qatada’s family are still being supported by the British taxpayer here in the UK.

This week also saw the publication of the updated National Curriculum. The changes are to be warmly welcomed – more coverage of world history, a greater focus on vocabulary development in English and introducing computing and programming into ICT.

As a historian I especially welcome the reforms of the history curriculum and asked a question of the Secretary of State during his statement to express my support for a curriculum which includes a basic chronology of British history in order to foster a greater understanding of individual periods.

I wholeheartedly support Michael Gove’s drive to raise standards in our schools and am optimistic that the new National Curriculum will equip children with the skills and knowledge they need to flourish in our society.

On Tuesday I had a meeting with the Schools Minister and a Salisbury headteacher to discuss funding for local schools and to press for a fairer grant settlement.