Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

for Streatham (and parts of Balham, Clapham Common, Tulse Hill and Brixton Hill)

11th June Newsletter

Jun 11, 2022 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

10th June 2022

Dear *|FNAME|*

I hope everyone enjoyed the extra time off over the Bank Holiday weekend and took the chance to spend time with friends, family, loved ones, and to get out to some of the fantastic community events happening in and around Streatham. I’d like to say a huge thank you to pupils and teachers from Christ Church Primary and Henry Cavendish Primary for inviting me to see their Jubilee celebrations alongside Councillor Sonia Winifred and Mayor Pauline George respectively.

Tory Ministers might believe that UK workers are “among the worst idlers in the world” (as Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss wrote in 2012) but in reality, we have the lowest number of public holidays in the G20 and the growth of insecure work on their watch means lots of people are working longer hours to make ends meet – often without holiday pay. On the plus side, I was delighted to see that the first UK-wide pilot of the four-day working week has been rolled out this week. All the evidence shows this policy could be a win-win for employers and employees alike if implemented properly, delivering better work-life balance and better productivity.

In Parliament

Holding the Tories’ Feet to the Fire over Partygate

People are sick of the Tories hiding corruption behind procedure (6th June 2022)

The country is facing the worst squeeze on living standards in living memory. But this week, the Tories once again proved that helping people through this comes a distant second to helping their leader cling on to power. 59 % of Tory MPs voted to let the PM off the hook for holding Downing Street lockdown parties, lying about them and rewriting the rules to remove himself from accountability. Unsurprisingly, the same MPs voted against Labour’s motion to strengthen standards in public life and clean up Westminster.

The outcome of these votes only confirms that the Tories’ guiding principle is one rule for them and another rule for everyone else. But people are sick and tired of them hiding behind procedure to defend corruption. The lack of accountability for corruption, lying and law-breaking will only deepen public anger towards Westminster politics and the Conservative Party.

Redress for Victims of the Football Index Collapse

Standing up for Constituents affected by the Football Index Collapse (7th June 2022)

The betting site Football Index collapsed in March 2021, going offline after a series of crashes in its “football stock market”, where users could buy and trade “shares” in leading players. The Gambling Commission, which regulated the company, suspended its licence, leaving customers with stakes of at least £90m in open bets trapped in the platform. The collapse of the Football Index has taken a devastating financial and mental toll on thousands of people up and down the country. I was proud to support my constituents’ calls for redress in this week’s Westminster Hall.

Reviewing Stop and Search

The Stop Watch Girls Project is an 18-month national research project funded by the national lottery, to interview young women about their experiences of Stop and Search. It was devised in response to girls and young women reporting stop-search encounters to be frightening and humiliating experiences. It was great to welcome them to Parliament to launch their female-led research project. Instead of ramping up Stop and Search, the Government should listen and learn from the racism and misogyny these women have faced and call a review.

National Security Bill

Opposing the Public Order Bill - another attack on the right to protest (23rd May 2022)

Speaking out against the Public Order Bill just before Recess

This week in Parliament saw another piece of authoritarian legislation from a Government that is more interested in silencing its critics than ending the injustices they highlight. I voted against the National Security Bill, which represents an attack on public interest journalism. The National Union of Journalists has rightly pointed out that the National Security Bill does not protect disclosures in the public interest, meaning measures ostensibly targeting foreign spies can end up being applied to journalists and whistleblowers – as the Official Secrets Act has been in the past.

Put Racial Inequalities Front and Centre of the Covid Inquiry

Last week, I co-ordinated a cross-party letter on behalf of the Federation of Ethnic Minority Healthcare Organisations (FEMHO) calling on the Government to include the unequal impact of the pandemic on minoritised communities in their Covid inquiry terms of reference and hear evidence from FEMHO. This was signed by 39 Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru and Scottish National Party MPs. There are 178,000 reasons why we a need comprehensive Covid inquiry that leaves no stone unturned and no community left behind. Any meaningful Covid inquiry must put racial disparities front and centre.

In and around Streatham

Marching on the Met and Making Our Community Safer

Marching with my colleague Dawn Butler MP

To mark the second anniversary of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry’s murder, we marched on Scotland Yard to demand action on institutional racism and misogyny in the Met. As more and more evidence of these issues comes to light, we’ve had apology after apology. But without openly acknowledging the institutional misogyny and racism that persist in policing and outlining a plan to address these issues, apologies are just reputation management. That’s why we’re asking the Home Secretary to consult people in our City on the appointment of the next Met Commissioner to ensure they confront these issues and restore community confidence in policing.

Cutting the Ribbon on the Unigate Nature Reserve

Lambeth Council recently declared two new Local Nature Reserves in Streatham as part of its Climate Action Plan to tackle the climate and ecological emergency facing our planet. In a borough where 60 percent of households are living in flats without access to private outdoor space, this will help ensure everyone in our community can access green space. I was delighted to cut the ribbon on the newly declared Unigate Wood nature reserve recently. It has been great to witness council and community working together to transform the Wood into the hidden gem it is today.

Extend the Road Traffic Act to Protect Cats

In January 2022, my constituent Olivia was having a lie-in with her partner when she got a knock on the door from her neighbour, who gave her the tragic news that Dart had been struck by a car, killed, and left at the side of a road. After weeks of heartbreak and grief, Olivia was shocked to find out that when a motorist collides with a cat, they don’t legally have to report it. That’s because the Road Traffic Act doesn’t protect cats. She’s now on a mission to change the law to give cats the same legal protections as dogs, pigs, mules and other animals by compelling drivers to stop and report collisions with cats. If you haven’t already, please sign our petition and share it on social media with a picture of your furry friend!

Sign Olivia’s petition to extend the Road Traffic Act to Protect Cats

Standing up for Teachers and Campaigning to End Classroom Hunger

It was good to meet with Magic Breakfast outside of Parliament this week to hear about their work providing healthy breakfasts to children in Streatham and beyond. I back their call to boost spending by £75m to provide breakfasts to 893,000 more children. The cost of living crisis makes it all the more urgent to extend eligibility for Free School Meals. No child should be left struggling to concentrate because of classroom hunger.

It’s not just students who are struggling because of the financial squeeze. After a decade of school cuts and austerity, teachers are once again feeling the pinch as they face real terms pay cuts, and threats to their pensions. I addressed a branch meeting of the National Association of Headteachers this week to thank local school leaders for everything they’ve done to keep schools running through the pandemic. I restated my commitment to addressing the retention and recruitment crisis in the sector and giving our teachers the things they need to provide the highest standards of education to students.

Sign the Petition to End Classroom Hunger

As ever, if you have any questions about the work I’m doing as MP, please get in touch at this address: bell.ribeiroaddy.mp@parliament.uk.

Best wishes,

Bell Ribeiro-Addy,
Labour MP for Streatham

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