Bell’s Regular Newsletter – 25th June

Jun 25, 2022 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

24th June 2022

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Yesterday marked a dark day for women’s reproductive rights, with the right-wing dominated US Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade. Taking the right to an abortion away does not end abortions; just safe ones. Solidarity with our sisters in America fighting for their rights in the face of right-wing ideologues. Ending the right to safe abortions is an attack on all women but women with the least resources will suffer most. In the USA, the poorest 12% of women account for almost 50% of abortions and the poorest 30% for 75% of abortions.

This decision is an important reminder that we can never take the social gains we have made for granted. With a Government that is determined to roll back so many rights and had to be wrestled into keeping telemedical abortion care earlier this year, we must remain vigilant here too.

In and around Streatham

Supporting Workers

I was proud to march alongside thousands of people from across the trade union movement this weekend to demand a pay rise for Britain, a better deal in workplaces, and action to address the financial turmoil now facing the country under this Tory Government. Rents are up 15.7% in London on last year, FTSE350 profits are up 75%, CEO pay is up 29% and city bonuses are up 20%. The reason people are struggling is because we have unrestrained profiteering from landlords, corporations, bosses and bankers whilst the Government tells workers they have to take another real terms pay cut after a decade of the same.

I was also on the picket line at Waterloo with rail workers this week, who are taking strike action to defend their pay, jobs and conditions. I was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with RMT Union members going on strike to make their voices heard and ensure that workers aren’t left picking up the tab for the financial turmoil now facing our country after twelve years of Tory Government.

Train companies still raked in £500 million in profits last year – enough to give a £12,500 pay rise to every single rail worker going on strike this week. The only people taking a pay cut should be the profiteers driving up inflation.

Instead of listening to people exercising their democratic rights to try and get a fair deal for workers, the Tories are using everything at their disposal to attack them, bringing in new legislation that undermines the right to strike and introducing new strike-breaking laws. I’ll be standing up for them and defend the right to strike if we’re going to build a society that works for workers, not the wealthy.

Protect our Public Transport

Even as the Government denounces striking rail workers for causing travel disruption this week, they are forcing TfL to cut the equivalent of an entire tube line and 20% of London’s buses. The only people who want to make it more difficult to get around London on public transport are the Tories.

As a constituency without a tube station, I know bus cuts are a real worry for many residents. Streatham buses under threat of being rerouted (59 & 133) or axed altogether (45), I’ll keep fighting for a fair deal for London’s public transport. The Tories must stop swinging the axe at our transport infrastructure.

Tell the Tories to Stop Punishing Londoners by Cutting Buses

Listen to Londoners on Policing

This week, I’ve written to the Government to highlight concerns about the independence and impartiality of their review into Cressida Dick’s resignation. Lambeth has the lowest expressed level of confidence in the Metropolitan Police of any London borough in the wake of a string of policing scandals. Another whitewash will do nothing to rebuild shattered confidence in London’s policing and make our city safer for all our communities. Instead of trying to impose their will on the people of London and pitting the police against people, the Government should listen to Londoners, giving us a say in the appointment of our next Commissioner.

Justice for the Windrush Generation

On Windrush Day we celebrate the generation of people who came from every corner of the Commonwealth to help rebuild Britain after the Second World War. We must never forget their huge contribution or the racism they suffered at the hands of successive governments. This week, I tabled an EDM celebrating 74 years since the Empire Windrush docked at Tillbury.

If the Government really meant their repeated pledges of justice, they would have fixed the compensation scheme, ended the hostile environment and set out a wholesale approach to restorative justice. Without this, the Government’s £1m Windrush Statue, built without fully consulting the Windrush community, is just a monument to their ongoing failure to acknowledge and act on their trauma.

Parliamentary Work

Helping People Reach Safety in the UK

The Government is leaving Ukrainian refugees in harm's way (22nd June 2022)

The Home Office has been delaying visas for Ukrainian babies and children despite approving their parents’, including families being sponsored by my constituents. You could be forgiven for thinking this was a cynical attempt to issue visas whilst ensuring people couldn’t actually come here. Whatever the root cause, it has put families and young people in harm’s way and needs to stop.

The Government’s failure to support people fleeing war in Ukraine is inseparable from their determination to deny refugees their rights. Instead of issuing visas to select groups of refugees, they should dismantle the Hostile Environment, open safe routes and give people a chance to rebuild their lives in safety.

Ending the Care to Prison Pipeline

Less than 1% of people grow up in care but care leavers make up 25% of the UK prison population and 33% of the UK homeless population respectively. I was proud to join children’s charity Become this week to discuss how we can address the failures in our care system and champion care leavers in Parliament.

I recently wrote about ending the care to prison pipeline

Pushing for Nuclear Disarmament

I started the week in Vienna, attending the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons conference. This Treaty has been signed by hundreds of countries but not the UK Government, who haven’t even shown up and are stockpiling more nukes instead of pursuing nuclear disarmament. It is an affront to human life that at a time when we are facing the challenges of a global pandemic, rising global poverty and a climate catastrophe, the Tories pouring yet more money into destructive nuclear technology. With this treaty, it now have an international ban on nuclear weapons. The next step is to enforce it.

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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