Bell’s Regular Newsletter – 1st August

Aug 1, 2022 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

1st August 2022

Dear *|FNAME|*,

The Tory leadership contest has been an unedifying spectacle. As one candidate rightly asked in the early stages: “why should the public trust us? We haven’t exactly covered ourselves in glory”. It’s a question that not one of the contenders has managed to provide a credible answer to. After several weeks of taking lumps out of each other and highlighting their own dismal track record in Government, we’re down to a choice between two Johnson acolytes with the same failed ideas. With energy bills on course to rise to nearly £4,000 next January, our next Prime Minister shouldn’t be decided by a tiny minority of unrepresentative Tory members; it should be decided in a General Election.

Read my column for The Independent on the Tory leadership race

Parliament has now risen for Summer Recess and I won’t be back in the House of Commons again until September. I’ll still be taking the fight to the Tories over the summer, campaigning for action to address the poverty and financial precarity facing the country after twelve years of their policy choices. As ever, I’ll also be out and about in the constituency, talking to residents about the things that matter to them.

My newsletter will be taking a break over the summer but look out for my Recess Roundup ahead of the return to Parliament.

I’m over the moon to report that I’ve been reselected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Streatham at the next general election, with unanimous support from all branches of Streatham Labour and local trade unions. Representing my home area as a Labour MP has been the honour of a lifetime. I’m excited to build on the work of the last two and a half years and help win the progressive Labour government we need to rebuild our country.

Stop Tory Bus Cuts

I joined our Lambeth Labour councillors for a day of action to stop the Tory bus cuts and call on the Government to stop holding London’s public transport to ransom. The Tories have cut TfL’s funding by £600 million and has demanded they make service cuts and increase prices for funding to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. This now leaves TfL facing the prospect of having to cut 20% of London’s bus network, with several buses serving Streatham (45, 59 & 133) at risk being axed or changed.

Stop Tory Bus Cuts: Sign the Petition

Remembering Streatham Labour activist Maxine James

The sudden passing of Streatham Labour’s Chair Maxine James this time last year was sorely felt by everyone in our local Party and the Black community as a whole. Maxine was a devoted local activist in our area for more than 20 years. Her family are fundraising for a bench in memory of Maxine on her beloved Streatham Common. Please give generously.

Click here to donate to Maxine’s fundraiser

Local School Visits

I managed to fit in a couple more school visits ahead of their summer break, getting over to Burntwood School to talk about careers and my role as an MP and making it along to Holy Trinity Church of England Primary in Tulse Hill, my old primary school, for their summer fair.

Address Racism in the Cabinet Office

Backing PCS Union's call for an inquiry into Cabinet Office racism (14th July 2022)

In my last parliamentary question before Summer Recess, I asked the Government about allegations of racism in the Cabinet Office and whether they will commit to the public inquiry demanded by PCS Union members who have faced discrimination and bullying in the department.

Tackling Food Poverty with Centrepoint UK

I was glad to host Centrepoint UK in Parliament ahead of Recess to launch their latest report on youth food poverty and homelessness. They’re urging the Government to make a simple commitment to ensuring no young person has to choose between paying bills and having enough food to eat. In a wealthy country like the UK, nobody should be so financially precarious that they’re struggling to feed themselves or skipping meals.

End Food Poverty: Sign Centrepoint’s Petition

Putting Race Front and Centre of the Covid Inquiry

I recently co-ordinated a cross-party letter on behalf of the Federation of Ethnic Minority Healthcare Organisations (FEMHO) urging 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. I’m pleased that Downing Street has now accepted these recommendations. This month, I hosted FEMHO’s inaugural meeting in Parliament to discuss unequal health outcomes during the pandemic as well as legal aspects of the inquiry. Any meaningful Covid inquiry must put race front and centre.

Restoring Stolen Artefacts to their Rightful Home

This month, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for African Reparations held its first evidence session on the question of restitution. The British Empire treated former colonies and colonial subjects as its personal property for centuries. Refusing to give back artefacts looted from former British colonies rests on the same racist logic. This evidence session offered a chance to hear from experts within the museums and heritage sector, who outlined some of the obstacles to repatriating objects looted under Empire like the Benin Bronzes. I’ll keep working with the APPG to push for restitution as part of a wider approach to reparatory justice.

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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