THIS has been a celebratory week in Parliament, as the commemorations began for the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage – the start of a year-long programme of events designed to inspire the next generation of female leaders and pioneers.

We can be proud that 100 years on, this is the most diverse Parliament in British history.

Today, there are over 200 female MPs and our democracy is much stronger and more representative as a result. The centenary is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the past but the government also wants to see it used as a platform to remove the obstacles to female candidacy and get more women involved in politics.

This week has been a busy one in Westminster for me, one highlight of which was taking my first bill through committee stage in Parliament. The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill will enable a respite for debt, consolidates the provision of debt advice and caps fees to protect consumers from unreasonable charges.

I also spoke to The City UK at Canary Wharf, involving London’s 50 biggest financial institutions, and took numerous ministerial meetings and statutory instruments.

I responded to a backbench business debate on bank closures – a widespread issue across the country, which is currently also rearing its head in Wilton and on which I am having a meeting in the constituency this Friday.

I also look forward to a full advice surgery, a meeting with Turning Point, a visit to the hospital and a tour of Bishop Wordsworth’s always excellent higher education fair.

Parliamentary recesses broadly line up with school holidays, so I have a ‘half-term’ week coming up. But, although Parliament will not be sitting, the business of the Treasury continues unabated and I will be doing my best to divide my time equally between Salisbury and Westminster.