TAUNTON Deane got a name check in Parliament during a debate on national security and Russia.

Our Conservative MP Rebecca Pow stood up in the House of Commons on Monday evening to tell MPs how the recent poison attack in Salisbury had impacted a constituent in the Taunton area.

Ms Pow said: "The horrifying events that recently unfolded in Salisbury, just a short train ride from my constituency, seem all too close to home.

"You may think it inappropriate to mention Taunton Deane in this debate, Mr Deputy Speaker, but just this weekend I met a 19-year-old constituent with a great future ahead of him who expressed to me how fearful the incident, together with other recent terrorist attacks, made him feel.

"That shocked me and brought home to me how important it is that our Prime Minister is taking a very important stance in dealing with the Russian threat.

"I am pleased that the House has come together in condemnation of the Salisbury incident and in condemnation of Russia’s violation of international law.

"I am pleased to support the Prime Minister’s strong leadership on this issue, signalling this country’s deep concerns and outlining the measures being put in place to keep us safe.

"I hope that this will demonstrate to my 19-year-old constituent that he need not fear, because we cannot live like that."

Somerset County Gazette:

Rebecca Pow during a previous Commons debate.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia have been in hospital in a critical condition, while police officer Sgt Nick Bailey has been released from hospital after all three were contaminated in Salisbury by a Russian-made nerve agent called novichok.

Russia has been blamed for the attack, although it denies any involvement, with several countries expelling a total of scores of diplomats.

Ms Pow slammed the "preposterous, contradictory theories" being spread in Russia over the incident and called on broadcast watchdog Ofcom to "look closely at media outlets that are allegedly broadcasting Russian propaganda from our own shores".

She added: "I am fully behind the Prime Minister’s efforts to work with our international partners to defend our security, to make a stand for our values and to send a clear message that any reckless act against the UK and assaults on our fundamental values will not be tolerated.

"This is the kind of action that will ensure that my 19-year-old constituent, with his whole life ahead of him, will be able to live safely and securely."