This week, MP for Buckingham Greg Smith writes exclusively to readers:

Parliament’s “return” from the Easter recess last week was less of a return and more a continuation of the new, virtual, little bit weird way of working.

Throughout the recess period I worked from home, ensuring all local people and businesses that need my help, advice and support during the crisis have been able to get in touch.

The Transport Select Committee, on which I serve, has already met virtually three times and the extension of using Zoom video calling for the main Chamber of the House of Commons, means I can continue to represent everyone in the Buckingham constituency as the Covid-19 crisis continues.

A major focus for me at the moment is helping those businesses who have not yet been given a support package from the government, particularly owner/directors of small limited companies that predominantly – and perfectly legitimately – pay themselves via dividends.

Likewise I am actively trying to ensure businesses that do not meet the criteria for grants are able to make their case for financial support.

That work continues, however as a whole I want to stress how proud I am of the measures my colleagues in government have delivered for the vast majority of workers and businesses.

One month ago, the Chancellor announced the unprecedented decision to step in and help pay people’s wages.

The government promised support would be available by the end of April and I’m pleased to report that promise has been kept, with businesses now able to claim the furlough funds online.

Likewise, Buckinghamshire Council has been busy distributing the £90 million fund allocated to our county for grants to qualifying local businesses.

With lockdown continuing, I know how tough this is on everyone. But it is the only way to protect our NHS and save lives.

The more we stick to the rules, the sooner we will all be able to meet with our friends and family again.