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

Bell’s Regular Newsletter – 1st April 2023

Apr 1, 2023 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

1st April 2023

Dear *|FNAME|*,

This week, the IOPC announced that it will refer the officer who shot Chris Kaba to the Crown Prosecution Service for homicide. My thoughts are with Chris’ loved ones as they continue their journey towards justice. This ruling is an important step towards accountability. The IOPC assured the Kaba family throughout the investigation that they were passing on all relevant and appropriate evidence to the CPS. After months of agony, it’s absolutely vital that the CPS now makes a swift decision. There’s no excuse for further delay.

Picture of a candle and floral tribute in front of graffiti that says 'Justice for Chris Kaba'

The Casey Review paints a damning and familiar picture of the Met victimising communities, failing victims, creating a toxic working culture, and wrecking public confidence. Trust in policing is at an all-time low in our area. In the parliamentary statement on this report, I asked the Government to ensure officers are properly vetted and automatically suspended when they come under investigation for crime or misconduct. Before the Met can be trusted to police our communities, they need to show they can police themselves.

We Need Action on Institutional Racism, Misogyny and Homophobia in the Met (21st March 2023)

Many people in our area are rightly asking why the Government has been creating new unaccountable police powers – which it openly admits will target racialised communities – instead of addressing abuses of existing police powers. But when the Government appears to be putting pressure on Met leadership not to use the term “institutional racism”, how can the public be confident they will address this?

A Reverse Robin Hood Budget

Speaking Against the Tories' Reverse Robin Hood Budget (20th March 2023)

This week, the Tories put down a Reverse Robin Hood budget which rewarded those responsible for inflation with a cumulative £29 billion in tax handouts, leaving ordinary people to suffer its consequences. I spoke and voted against this Budget in Parliament.

A tax handout to the top 1% is becoming a recurring theme in Tory Budgets. Meanwhile, most households are facing an effective £400 energy bill hike and another one in three months’ time. Benefits claimants face harsher sanctions as the Tories step up their scapegoating – but there was nothing to address stagnant wages, nothing on the cost of rent crisis, and nothing to repair crumbling public services which will see a £22 billion stealth hit in the coming years.

After thirteen years, the evidence of exactly where austerity leads is all around us: longer food bank queues, more rough sleeping, falling pay packets, in-work poverty, spiralling living costs, terminally low productivity, and stalling life expectancy. The average household will see their disposable income shrinking by record amounts over the next two years. Austerity is a political choice; not an economic necessity – we need an alternative.

Opposing Cruel and Costly Anti-Refugee Legislation

Opposing the Tories' Latest Attack on Desperate People (14th March 2023)

This week, I voted against the Tories’ Refugee Ban Bill. It’s act of violence against families seeking safety. We cannot allow the Conservatives to keep blaming their economic failures on some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Instead of slamming the door and subjecting people to further trauma, we need safe routes and international cooperation.

We should not be denying people safety, detaining them in increasingly inhospitable conditions, and deporting them to Rwanda because they took the one route available to them. This bill isn’t about protecting people, it’s about distracting from crumbling public services and the dire economic situation we are currently facing.

Black History is British History: Honouring Billy Waters

Bell speaks into a microphone on stage as she stands next to an easel presenting the circular blue plaque commemorating Billy Waters.

I joined the Nubian Jak Community Trust last Tuesday to support the campaign to install a commemorative plaque honouring Billy Waters, Britain’s first celebrated African American popular performer, who died 200 years ago. Black history is British history and it’s so important that we tell it in full.

Black Maternal Health: Motherhood Group Conference

Bell stands at a lectern, speaking into a microphone at the Motherhood Group Conference.

I was pleased to deliver the keynote speech at the Motherhood Group conference last week, discussing how we can improve Black women’s experiences of maternity care and close the 3.7x mortality gap between black and white mothers. I set up the APPG on Black Maternal Health in September 2021, calling on the Government to set concrete targets for minimising inequalities in healthcare outcomes. Black women are not the problem. Our bodies are not broken.

Protecting the Right to Vote

Bell stands with campaigners on College Green in front of a map setting out how many people in each region of the country face disenfranchisement under the Tories' Elections Bill.

Last Tuesday, I joined campaigners from Unlock Democracy, the Electoral Reform Society, Open Britain, and Fair Vote UK, who are highlighting the damaging impact of the Government’s Elections Bill. This legislation means that people will now have to display valid identification in order to cast a ballot.

The Tories’ real reason for bringing in mandatory Voter ID was to make it harder for the millions of lower income voters without passports or drivers’ licenses to have their say. Worryingly, it appears to be working just as intended, with up to 2.1 million not in possession of valid ID ineligible to vote in the upcoming local elections. Instead of locking people out of our democracy, we should be encouraging democratic participation.

Burntwood and City Heights School Visits

A picture taken from behind seated students with raised hands, looking towards Bell who is standing at the front of the room at a lectern.

The standout question from my school visits last week was “do MPs ever take it outside when they disagree?” It was lovely to visit Burntwood School to answer students’ questions about our political system and my role as an MP. It’s always great to talk to young people about careers and participation in our democratic process.

Bell stands with teachers in front of City Heights school, smiling at the camera.

It was also good to be back with E-ACT City Heights Academy, where I saw the Becoming A Man programme in action, which helps young men navigate the challenges of growing up in our area. Every child should have access to school counselling and mental health support. This is something that Labour proposed in our last manifesto and I hope this idea is carried forwards into the next election.

Campaigning for Renters’ Reform

Bell stands with protesters holding signs that say "#RentersDemandAction"

Renters shouldn’t be kicked out of their homes just for requesting repairs or refusing to put up with extortionate increases but in the past four years, 230,000+ people have been served with No Fault Eviction notices, despite the Tories’ pledge to ban them since then.

Bell stands with a group of four other people in Westminster Hall.

I’m pleased to support Renters’ Reform Coalition campaigners, who are calling on the Government to stop them being forced out of their homes. Thank you to my constituents who came to Westminster earlier this month to ask the Government to reinstate the Renters’ Reform Bill and to scrap no fault evictions. It’s absolutely vital that we keep pushing to ensure there are comprehensive protections against eviction for private tenants and mechanisms to cap runaway rents.

Remembering the Halabja Massacre

Bell outside her constituency office with Councillor Sarbaz Barznji and a delegation of Commonwealth MPs.

Thank you to our Deputy Mayor, Councillor Sarbaz Barznji, for holding the commemoration at Lambeth Town Hall of the Halabja Massacre. On March 16th 1988, over 5,000 Kurds were killed and 10,000 more injured in a chemical gas attack perpetrated by Saddam Hussein.

Most were women and children, and this was followed by a genocide that killed hundreds of thousands. As the Kurdish people face ongoing persecution and violence, we remember past atrocities and stand in solidarity with their present struggle for freedom and peace.

Partygate Inquiry

Boris Johnson raises a plastic cup in a room of people whose faces are blurred out, who are also holding cups

Last week, Boris Johnson was questioned by the Parliamentary Standards Committee regarding his involvement in lockdown-era gatherings. We don’t need another inquiry or investigation to determine that he broke the rules that he imposed on the public, or that he lied to the public and to Parliament about this subsequently. Honesty in politics matters. He has to go.

Fighting Hunger in the UK

Right to Food: Marching Against Hunger (27th March 2023)

The rising prevalence of food bank use is a stain on our society. 1 in 5 households reported having skipped meals or gone hungry for an entire day, as the price of putting a meal on the table is now the second-largest pressure on low-income households after energy costs.

I marched against hunger with Right to Food London activists who called on the Government to put the right to food in law and address the poverty and inequality that leaves too many struggling to feed themselves.

Bell talks to two women behind a table displaying hunger statistics

I was also proud to join Mothers Manifesto as they held a hunger strike outside Downing Street on Mother’s Day to raise awareness to the fact that 1 in 4 mothers are now skipping meals to feed their kids. Mothers Manifesto demand that the Government ensure every child in the UK has enough to eat, keep their promises on aid and climate, and tax oil company profits. The number of children in food poverty has almost doubled in the last year. We need urgent action to end hunger.

Safe Passage Protest

Safe Routes Now! (27th March 2023)

As the Tories voted through legislation slamming the door on refugees, I joined hundreds of protesters outside Parliament to fight for an alternative to their cruel and costly plans: safe routes and international cooperation. This is old fashioned divide and rule. We cannot let them blame their own failings on the most vulnerable.

Windsor Framework Approval

I voted to change the Northern Ireland protocol. The new Windsor Framework will result in the more streamlined and efficient movement of goods through Northern Ireland, with a ‘green lane’ for goods going to Ireland, and a ‘red lane’ for the EU.

Each of these will have their own process of relevant required checks. However, the Prime Minister, who backed Brexit from the start, deserves no credit for this one step for improvement after sliding backwards for the last few years.

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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