THIS has turned out to be a very unexpected week for me, with a host of interviews and media demands flooding in following the disturbing events that unfolded in the Maltings on Sunday.

At the time of writing, the area remains sealed off and the cause of Sergei and Yulia Skripal falling ill remains unknown. By all accounts, Yulia was in the city for a few days visiting her father, who has been a constituent since buying a house here in 2011.

All I can say with certainty at this point is that the initial response of the local emergency services to the unfolding incident has been nothing short of magnificent.

Salisbury District Hospital rose to the occasion to continue to provide emergency triage and A&E in the most testing conditions, all while acting swiftly and properly to protect staff and patients.

Wiltshire Police commenced what has turned out to be an extraordinarily complex investigation in a brave and exemplary manner, prioritising the welfare of the public.

The national counter-terrorism network has now taken over the case and I’m sure they will leave no stone unturned in this case.

A large number of experts are now working to establish the truth behind what happened, including, of course, specialist scientists at Porton Down. At the same time, our doctors and nurses are fighting to save the lives of two people.

They deserve our thanks and I wish all of them well in their important work.

Before the terrible incident unfolded on Sunday, I had spent the weekend reflecting on the prime minister’s third major speech on Brexit, delivered last Friday.

I was very pleased with the content of the ambitious address and thought the PM struck the right balance between the necessity of regaining full policy control from Brussels and ensuring we avoid a damaging economic rupture with our European friends.

I also welcomed the largely positive reaction to the speech from across the Conservative Party and many business leaders.

Far too often our political life over the past two years has been excessively polarised.

It’s now time to come together in the national interest and get the job done.