Last month I joined the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, a programme designed to give Members of Parliament a greater understanding of the Armed Forces and the chance to meet with some of those who serve and their families. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I chose the Royal Navy as my husband was a Navy man in his early career.

As part of this I recently went to the HM Naval base at Portsmouth where I was able to go on board some of the ships, see at first hand some of the pre-deployment training and I was even persuaded to do a fitness test.

It was an excellent visit and a chance to meet servicemen and women and learn more about our Armed Forces — something that I feel is very important in helping me in my role as an MP.