It's been another week marshalling arguments and support for the UK steel industry. And Scunthorpe Steel in particular.
It was good to see so many local steelworkers down in Westminster on the day we debated what government needs to do if it wants this key foundation industry to be there into the future. In my short speech I used the words sent to me in emails from local people affected to underline the need for urgent action on energy costs, business rates, Chinese dumping and procurement.
It was good to hear management and workers alike putting the same arguments to Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Business Secretary, Angela Eagle when they visited Scunthorpe Plate Mill on Thursday. They couldn't fail to but be impressed by the sight of steel being made. They were equally impressed by the skills, pride and commitment of the steelworkers and their families that they met. And I've also been impressed by the support of everyone locally. People have been keen to sign the petitions being gathered in the town centre, Ashby market and elsewhere. And it's been good to see so many shops displaying 'Save Our Steel' posters as well as a lot of support on social media.
I've also been busy in my Shadow Schools' role responding to a debate on holidays taken in term time and asking my first Education Question from the Front Bench.
It was good to chat to Anne Tyrrell, North Lindsey College Principal, at a gathering of FE Principals from across Greater Lincolnshire. There was general concern about the likely further cuts in funding that is feared as a result of the government's Comprehensive Spending Review. This is one of the key issues Labour has been pressing the government on, along with the crisis in teacher supply and the crisis in school place planning.
I supported pancreatic cancer charities by sponsoring a drop-in event at Wesminster. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month so this was very timely.
Back in Scunthorpe I had a busy surgery at Sainsburys followed by a drop in for people concerned about policing issues around Frodingham Road organised with the police and safer neighbourhoods. And somehow we managed to find time to judge my Christmas card competition - always one of the most difficult jobs of the year!