There was a sombre atmosphere in the House of Commons on Wednesday when the Prime Minister read the names of every British soldier killed in Afghanistan over the summer.

Like the bells tolling on Remembrance Sunday, the names echoed around the chamber.

It was a fitting parliamentary tribute to the valour and sacrifice of our armed forces.

The Prime Minister later announced the deployment of an additional 500 troops to Afghanistan.

It is important that all our fighting forces have the equipment they need to protect them.

I am also supporting a campaign for our armed forces personnel to be paid as much as firefighters and police officers.

The welfare of our frontline soldiers should be the greatest priority of the Ministry of Defence.

We owe it to our fighting forces to have maximum clarity regarding our objectives in Afghanistan.

I believe the mission to prevent Afghanistan and Pakistan falling into the arms of violent extremists is of clear benefit.

What is needed now is greater strategic leadership from America and other NATO allies as to the plan for the months and possibly years ahead.

Our armed forces and their families hugely value the support of the British public.

We should be proud of them and always remember that they are serving our country and are risking their lives to protect us all.