Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

Member of Parliament for Streatham (and parts of Balham, Clapham Common, Tulse Hill and Brixton Hill)
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Clapham & Brixton Hill

18th November 2023

Nov 18, 2023 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

18th November 2023

Dear *|FNAME|*,

This week, the Downing Street Merry-Go-Round brought us the spectacle of our unelected Prime Minister calling back to Government another unelected man whose austerity programme laid the foundations for the very problems we face today: from rising inequality, poverty and homelessness to the decimation of our NHS and other public services. It seems even the Tories wish they could push the reset button and take us back to 2010 to try again. Clearly, David Cameron has no place in any government seriously attempting to address the problems he created. This Government is running out of ideas, legitimacy, and time. We need a General Election now.

Voting for a Ceasefire in Gaza

Marching for a Ceasefire in the War on Gaza (28th Oct 2023)

In the run-up to this week’s vote, my inbox was inundated with constituents writing to highlight the killing of innocent Palestinians in Gaza and urge me to back a ceasefire. In the best part of four years in Parliament, I have never received so much correspondence on an issue.  I voted in favour of backing an immediate ceasefire, as I have consistently called for elsewhere. This is the best way to protect the lives of innocent Palestinian civilians under bombardment, secure the release of Israeli hostages and get desperately needed aid into Gaza.

This week’s vote was about recognising our common humanity and taking a clear stand against the killing and collective punishment of innocent people. Most of the 11,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza so far have been women and children. To put the scale of the current bombardment into perspective, Save the Children have reported that more Palestinian children were killed in the first three weeks of this conflict than were killed in the entirety of global conflicts last year.

The killing of civilians is morally indefensible. Allowing it to go unchallenged is unforgiveable.  Yet this is precisely what has happened, with civilians paying the ultimate price for the failures of US, UK and European political leaders to call for peace and call out violations of international law.

It must also be restated that an enduring peace will not be achieved without addressing the root causes of the current violence. That means holding all parties responsible for violations of international law, recognising a Palestinian state and working towards a diplomatic solution based on mutual respect and equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.

Streatham and Brixton Remember

Remembrance Sunday in Windrush Square (12th Nov 2023)

I joined local Remembrance Day events last weekend in Brixton and Streatham to commemorate all those killed in war and conflict.  As we witness devastating violence in Gaza, the Congo, Sudan, Yemen and beyond, we reflected on the horrors of war and the absolute necessity of striving for a more peaceful world. We paid tribute to everyone who gave their lives defending freedom against the forces of fascism, in particular those Commonewalth soldiers whose contribution was downplayed and disrespected for so long. It is our solemn duty to remember all those killed and our responsibility to say never again.

Congratulations to Norwood and Brixton Foodbank

A massive congratulation to volunteers at the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, who won a prestigious Kind’s Award for Voluntary Service this week. I am hugely grateful to our local food banks for stepping up to support people in crisis and was very happy to nominate them for this award recognising all they have achieved.

I am however, angry that they have had to plug the gaps left by thirteen years of the Tories. The number of emergency food parcels needed in Lambeth rose by 20% between April and September this year according to the latest data. We need the government to match the action we are seeing on the ground from community groups and work to address the poverty and inequality which are at the root of this mass hunger.

Warm Winter Coats Collection

Coats piled up on a table inside Bell's office.

I’m working with New Vision 4 Women to collect winter coats, hats, scarfs and gloves for newly arrived refugees. Thank you to everyone who has dropped off warm winter coats at my constituency office this week already. If you have a spare coat or any of the above items, please do take it over to St Margaret’s Church (SW2 3BH) this Saturday morning from 11am-2pm.

African Union Reparations Conference

Speaking at the African Union Reparations Conference (14th Nov 2023)

This week, I attended the African Union’s Reparations Conference in Accra, Ghana, where I had the honour of speaking alongside African and Caribbean heads of state on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Afrikan Reparations. Reparations are often caricatured as a process of former colonial powers handing over large sums to the countries they colonised. But reparative justice is about so much more than financial payments.

When I talk about reparations, people often ask where they stop. The more pertinent question is where do they start. Reparative justice can start with apologies, the return of stolen artefacts, telling the truth about the British Empire in our schools, and with action on a climate emergency driven by Britain’s emissions-intensive industrialisation that is hitting former colonies hardest. The process of reparative justice can stop when we have finally addressed the global inequality and racial injustice which are the twin legacies of colonisation and enslavement.

Walking to School with Richard Atkins Primary

Bell speaks with parents and pupils outside the school gates. One pupil wheels a bike.

It was lovely to catch up with pupils, teachers and parents from  Richard Atkins Primary on their morning walk to school. Encouraging kids to take active forms of travel like walking, cycling and scooting is important but the daily walk that many of these children make is a reminder that we have so much work to do when it comes to improving road safety and cleaning up our toxic air.

Just last month, research by University College London researchers estimated that 48,625 adults die prematurely each year in the UK due to particulate matter pollution.Pupils who have to traverse Brixton Road to get to school will be exposed to some of the highest nitrogen dioxide levels anywhere in London. We must do more to clean up our air.

Change the Globe Boxing Club

Bell stands in the ring with a boxing trainer, their fists raised.

Good to visit the Change the Globe Boxing Club in Streatham Hill, which opened over the summer. They run classes for people of all genders and all abilities. Why not give boxing a try?

Visiting Modern Synthesis

Bell poses with the Modern Synthesis Team holding a bag made of bio-material

I had a really interesting and informative visit to Modern Synthesis this week, a local bio-materials startup in Balham which is harnessing science to create the sustainable textiles of the future. Their ambition is to displace animal- and fossil-fuel derived materials, an important initiative that will help us towards a more circular economy.

As ever, if you have any questions about the work I’m doing as MP, please get in touch at this address:

Best wishes,

Bell Ribeiro-Addy,
Labour MP for Streatham

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