It was important for MPs to debate and vote on the UK’s response to the situation, in which thousands of Syrians have been killed or injured and 2 million people have fled their homes.

We debated the possibility of a military intervention and I supported the Labour Party’s plans, outlined by Ed Miliband during the debate and in our amendment, which stated that we would only support a military intervention if and when a number of conditions were met including a vote at the UN Security Council, compelling evidence that the Syrian regime were behind the use of chemical weapons and a further vote in Parliament.

In fact the result of the vote was very surprising as both the Government and Labour’s plans were defeated by MPs. Although the vast majority of MPs voted to keep the possibility of intervention open at a future date, this is not the position we have ended up with.

The prospect of UK military intervention in Syria now appears highly unlikely. However we must continue to engage with the situation through diplomatic and humanitarian means and the current G20 summit is crucial to that effort.

Last week in Parliament MPs also debated the Government’s controversial Lobbying Bill which intends to gag charities and voluntary organisations by stopping them campaigning.

Under the plans small charities will face tougher regulations restricting their ability to campaign on important issues during elections and against Government policies, or indeed the policies of any political party or organisation.

In the year before an election campaigning will be restricted and charities will also see the rules on spending toughened up with all staff costs and overheads having to be included which could see larger charities having to pull back from any public facing activities to avoid hitting the spending limits.

This could mean they could be prevented from campaigning on the bedroom tax, energy prices or tax credits.

Charities and voluntary organisations should be free to contribute to public debates and we should be encouraging their participation – not putting up barriers.

The plans are being debated again this week and I will be calling for the Government to rethink this gagging bill.

The Government have been stepping up their plans to sell off Royal Mail on the cheap as a quick fix to plug the financial black hole in our economy caused by the Chancellor’s failed economic plans.

There’s a real risk that the plans will see Royal Mail profits being used to line the pockets of private investors instead of being used to improve the postal services in communities across the UK.

Labour is campaigning against these ill thought out plans and you either visit my website or contact my office on 01389 734 214 to show your support for our Royal Mail.