WE are going through the most extraordinary times locally, nationally and across the world, from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Covid-19 pandemic, the travails of Bolton Wanderers and its sporting recovery.

I am therefore delighted in joining my MP neighbours, Yasmin Qureshi and Mark Logan, in writing a regular column to share my thoughts on our turbulent times.

Having first been elected to represent the Bolton West constituency in May 2015, I could not have anticipated the political and wider turmoil that we have had ever since.

Since that election, we are now on our third Prime Minister which perfectly represents our political instability.

When Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, we had no expectation that he would have to lead us through a global pandemic and, just as that is fizzling out, have to work with world leaders to form a united front against the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and his cronies.

The Bolton News is certainly giving the concerns of our local Ukrainian community a voice and this is being taken back to Westminster.

Just as PMQs was about to start, we had a moving standing ovation for the Ukrainian Ambassador, which was such a powerful expression of solidarity through this awful time.

Local political rivalries have had a dramatic impact on our representation on Bolton Council and delivered the first Conservative leader since 1980.

The delight that I and so many others shared when David Greenhalgh became leader of the council was followed by such sadness when we lost our friend last year.

National and local politics have their ceaseless ebbs and flows but I rarely meet anyone who wanted another layer of politics added to the mix.

The Mayor for Manchester has seen skyscrapers erected in the city while inequalities with towns remain as wide as ever. The Chief of Police was forced out and GMP put into special measures. The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework has been a dismal failure which allowed uncontrolled house building.

The Clean Air Zone is in disarray and needs scrapping as does the position of mayor.

Well, what ever the coming years throw up, I will not be short of things to write about even when I hope to live in less extraordinary times.