Thank you to those who recently contacted me about Ofsted and the hijab in primary schools.
I understand that this is an issue which raises concerns for some. I firmly believe in a person's right to choose their expression of faith. The freedom to practice faith - or not - is one of the cornerstones of the free and diverse democratic society in which we live in this country. Indeed, many other countries worldwide do not allow such diversity and freedom of expression or belief.
Successive Governments have emphasised the importance of freedom of religion and belief, and it is vital that all communities are able to practice their religion free from persecution. I support the right to wear all forms of religious and other dress for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and many others.
I am therefore proud that the Equality Act 2010 helped to foster an open society by strengthening the legislative framework to protect people from discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief or, indeed, lack of it.
I hope that the Government will listen carefully and respond to the concerns that have been raised about this issue.
Thank you once again to those who contacted me about this important issue. I can assure my constituents that I will continue to follow the issue very closely, and bear in mind the points raised.