Socially distanced funeral symbolised Prince's life of service to our nation

Queen Elizabeth II during the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

The Queen during the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. - Credit: PA

The funeral of Prince Philp was full of symbolism of his life of service to our nation, from Royal Navy officer to loyal consort.

Yet the most poignant image of the day was of the Queen sat alone as she awaited the start of the funeral of her husband.

Like so many others over the last year having to face the most difficult of circumstances socially distanced from wider family, with no exception sought or wished for from the rules affecting anyone else. It was an example, like those of her parents 80 years ago, of facing the same challenges as the nation.

While the funeral was smaller than would have been imagined in planning over the years, I suspect for the Duke it being focused on his family and the military was exactly how he would have wanted it to be.

European Super League 

With all its ups and downs football is part of every community.

We can all dream of seeing our team play at Wembley, get promoted into the next league if we have a good season or hope the next one will be better after the disappointment of relegation.

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Even a generation ago when the dawn of subscription television and the Premier League saw the money in the game increase exponentially the basic premise of the game still existed, even if harder to achieve without significant resources. 

Yet the suggestion of a new European Super League is very different. It owes its inspiration more to the NFL franchise system than a football pyramid, with a small number of the most-resourced clubs facing each other regularly and all others shut out. 

This could not only have obvious financial impacts for the rest of the game, including here in the Bay, but stymie the development of talent which goes onto play for the national team.

UEFA, the governing body of European Football, have opposed it and so should every football fan. 


It was great to join those out enjoying themselves last week as the latest stage on the route map out of lockdown went ahead. 

A pint of cider in a beer garden overlooking Babbacombe Downs was a welcome change from a Saturday night staying in.

It was also good to visit businesses welcoming back some of the first tourists to our Bay as self-contained holiday accommodation re-opened, with strong bookings for the months ahead.

As the vaccination programme completes its first phase and moves onto the rest of the adult population in our Bay, a summer full of fun for residents and visitors seems a lot closer.

Surgery Times 

Following the latest easing of lockdown rules, I have restarted face to face advice surgeries, but telephone appointments can still be arranged if preferred.

Sadly, my surgeries must remain by appointment only at this stage.

Surgeries are for urgent personal matters, such as welfare, immigration, housing, problems accessing support and benefits, rather than to discuss policy or the wider situation. 

For an appointment you can either email me at or leave a message on 01803 214989.

You can also drop into my office at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD between 10am and 1pm Monday to Friday. Please note you may have to wait outside if others attend at the same time.