SINCE my last column at the beginning of March Parliament, and indeed the country as a whole, is almost unrecognisable.

At the beginning of March I was gearing up for the first meeting of the Education Select Committee, which I now sit on, and for meetings with ministers and the Chancellor to discuss the Budget.

Few would have anticipated that within a week of the universally well received budget, that it would already be out of date due to the global coronavirus outbreak. What we have seen since then is unprecedented in this country, with hundreds of billions of pounds in support packages for businesses, workers and the self-employed and the UK now in lockdown.

During this time, I unfortunately came down with several symptoms of coronavirus myself and subsequently self-isolated in London to protect my family.

Whilst self-isolating I was working from home and making representations on the emergency legislation to deal with the outbreak. I would like to thank my team for their fantastic efforts during this time and to residents for the kind messages and patience.

Now the amended emergency legislation on coronavirus measures has passed into law, MPs are back in their constituencies and following the same rules we’ve asked everyone else to abide by.

I can reassure residents that, even though I’m not physically in Parliament, I still have the means to get issues across to Government in order to support you.But I need your help in a few different ways.

Firstly, please keep following the advice to stay at home, to protect the elderly, the vulnerable and the NHS. You must stay at home, leaving only for very limited purposes - shopping for basic necessities as infrequently as possible, any medical need, one form of exercise a day – alone or with members of your immediate household, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, and travelling to and from work, but only where your work cannot be done from home.

Secondly, please volunteer to help neighbours where you can. Lots of amazing local schemes have popped up with residents offering help with shopping or collecting medicines. Last week the government launched a national recruitment drive for NHS volunteers and over 750,000 volunteers have stepped up.

And finally, please bear with me as I am dealing with thousands of contacts via e-mail, telephone and social media daily. I have an amazing team supporting me, but things may take a little longer than usual.