The Stroud MP's weekly column.

Like many people across Stroud, I am really proud of the England football team and I’m still gutted they just failed to land the Euro 2020 crown on Sunday.

The players have conducted themselves with dignity and are brilliant role models for our young people. They have made new fans for life and, in the manager Gareth Southgate, we have a national treasure.

Sadly, those who racially abused some of our players online because they missed a penalty are the lowest form of human and I hope they are identified and prosecuted. I am completely fed up with this sort of disgusting behaviour. It makes me livid and even more motivated to make sure the government’s Online Safety Bill has real teeth in it to deal with these mindless and nasty people.

The way forward in one regard is for accounts to be verified and for people to have a choice to block anonymous accounts. That will stop the hate and my campaign to achieve this continues.

Last week the British Business Bank published updated data which shows the distribution of loans offered under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS).

The schemes closed on 31 March 2021, but were vital in helping to support businesses across the UK during the pandemic. The figures show that in Stroud, 2,547 of these loans worth £112,613,589 have been offered. This is a really substantial sum and shows how much the government supported our local businesses.

In the constituency, I had the pleasure of trying out my not-so-good rugby skills when I met up with the Cainscross minis last week. There was a great atmosphere for the children and a good community spirit but I think I will not be taking up this sport any time soon.

Summer festival season is also upon us and now we are looking forward to the end of most Covid restrictions, I think this year’s events will be great.

I really enjoyed being at the Dursley Summer Festival on Sunday. The town, businesses and street stalls created a wonderful atmosphere. Well done to all involved.

Other festivals and fetes will be taking place over the summer and I will try to get to as many as possible. It’s great to be out and about with confidence again supported by the vaccine rollout. Covid isn’t going away but, right now, it’s not stopping us doing all the things we enjoy.