ALTHOUGH in this column I like to keep constituents informed about my work in Westminster and in Redditch, I could not let this week pass without mention of the horrendous attacks on our freedom that occurred in Paris last Friday.
The attacks on November 13 were the worst act of violence in France since the Second World War. The victims were innocent people spending time with friends and family, doing no-one any harm. My deepest condolences go out to the French people and all those who lost loved ones in the attacks.
While the full picture of what happened is still emerging, we know there were multiple terror incidents across Paris that claimed the lives of at least 129 people, including one British citizen, with many more injured. The UK Government is working closely with the French authorities and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office sent a rapid response team to Paris immediately following the attacks and the consular team in Paris and the UK continues to provide family support, including through family liaison officers.
In response to the increasing threat of international terrorist attacks, new funding will be invested in intelligence agencies for an additional 1,900 officers at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. There will also be a step change in the Government’s approach to aviation security following the Sinai disaster.
I know that Britain stands united with the French people and the Government of France. This shameful act of terrorism will only achieve the opposite of its purpose, which was to divide, frighten, and sow hatred. We will redouble our efforts to wipe out this poisonous extremist ideology and, together with our allies around the world, stand up for all we believe in.
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