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 – 25th September

Sep 25, 2022 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

25th September 2022

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Welcome back to my regular newsletter, which has seen a brief hiatus over the summer Recess and following the death of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Whatever your views on monarchy, the death of our late Monarch has meant the loss of our country’s longest serving public servant. A family have lost a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother and we send our sincerest condolences to those who loved her most. May she rest in peace.

As the elected representative of Streatham, I attended the Presentation of Addresses by both Houses to His Majesty King Charles III, joined my Lambeth parliamentary colleagues in Windrush Square for the proclamation of King Charles III and signed the book of condolence for the late Queen Elizabeth II at Lambeth Town Hall.

I also joined Lambeth Mayor Pauline George, Deputy Lambeth Lieutenant Christopher Wellbelove and Councillor Jim Dickson at Uplands Care Home on their tour across the borough to enable elderly and immobile residents to sign the book of condolence. It was great to speak to residents and say thank you to staff for all they do.

Pushing for Answers on the Fatal Police Shooting

The fatal police shooting of Chris Kaba in Streatham Hill has sent shockwaves through our community. At 24 years old, Chris was studying for an architecture apprenticeship, engaged to be married and on the cusp of becoming a father. It is right that there is now a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to Chris’s premature death. But the facts so far raise difficult questions for the police, questions that we must continue to ask.

Since the shooting, I have had close contact with Chris’s family. It’s vital that we honour their wishes and follow their lead. I’ve been out demonstrating with the Kaba family outside Scotland Yard and joined them for a quiet vigil held in remembrance of Chris at the site on Kirkstall Gardens where his life was cut short. I’ll be with them every step of the way as they fight for accountability.

I’ve also attended various meetings with the Met Police and the IOPC (Independent Office of Police Conduct), where I have pushed for answers. So far, campaigning has led to the suspension of the officer involved, the eventual escalation to a homicide case, permission for the family to view the footage and – in a first – an examination of whether or not Chris’s race played a part in his shooting.

As the situation evolves, the family is asking for:

  • Clarity on whether police were specifically following Chris on the night they shot him.
  • The individual who fired the shot to be interviewed under caution without further delay.
  • A charging decision from the IOPC in a matter of weeks, not months.

Nobody deserves to die in the way that Chris died. No family should have to go through the pain his loved ones have endured over the last three weeks. After viewing the bodycam footage this week, the family have taken a step back from the case but it has only renewed their

I wrote for the Independent about the struggle for answers

Mini Budget – A Massive Boost for the 1%

On Friday, the new Chancellor announced the Government’s response to the cost of living emergency. This was a budget for the super rich, which will do nothing to address the crisis of falling living standards faced by the majority of people in this country. If your income is below £155,000, you lose out. If your income is above £155,000, you gain.

This was literally a budget for the 1%, which promised to lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses, slash taxes for corporations and the rich, introduce new benefit cuts and launch further attacks on trade unions. Meanwhile, there was nothing to insulate homes or help people reduce consumption for the long run. Nothing to shield renters from astronomical rent hikes. Nothing to support the very poorest in our society.

While people everywhere worry about how they are going to afford energy bills, rising rents and food, the Government is handing more money back to the individuals and corporations already making huge profits off these basic needs via swingeing tax cuts.

The Tories have taken a big gamble that cutting taxes for the rich will deliver a mini boom for their political and donor bases to get them over the line at the next election. Whatever happens next, it’s clearly not going to help the overwhelming majority of people in this country.

After twelve years of sluggish growth and vicious inequality, they’re doubling down on the same failed policies and short-term thinking. And they’re running out of rope.

Lambeth Solidarity Launch

Lambeth Solidarity Launch (6th September 2022)

I was proud to speak to a packed-out Lambeth Solidarity launch meeting at the start of the month. It’s not a cost of living crisis; it’s a cost of living scandal, created by twelve years of Tory policy choices and an ongoing refusal to address rampant inequalities. Twelve years of the Tories has meant twelve years of falling pay, tax cuts and ringfenced profits for the rich, and of course, the absolute decimation of our public services.

With Truss offering only to reheat the same policies that got the country into the mess we find ourselves in, the fightback starts at the grassroots. Across the country, people are turning anger into action by coming together and getting organised to fight for the basics for everyone in our community: proper pay, affordable bills, decent housing and enough to eat.

Standing with Postal Workers

I was out on rock solid picket lines at Streatham and Brixton delivery offices with CWU members at the start of September. 115,000 postal workers across the UK are on strike because Royal Mail is imposing a real terms pay cut on their workers even as they record huge profits and dividend pay-outs. Last year, they posted profits of £758 million and paying shareholders £400 million. I’ll continue supporting postal workers in this dispute until they get their share of this.

Little Big Peace Screening – Power to Change

Thank you to Little Big Peace for inviting me to this important screening of their short film ‘Power to Change’, bringing changemakers together to discuss how we can build a safer society for young people – too many of whom are still left exposed to violent crime. 30 teenagers lost their lives to violence in London last year. As a representative of a borough with some of the highest historic levels of serious violence in London, this starts with listening to the people who are already doing this vital work in our communities.

150 Years of Streatham and Brixton Chess Club

Last weekend, I joined Streatham and Brixton Chess Club at Streatham Library to kick off a tournament marking the club’s 150th anniversary. The competition brought together people from across London – including two of my newest young constituents from Ukraine who are staying with a local family. Special thank you as well to club president Martin Smith for giving me a copy of his book, ‘Movers and Takers’. I’m looking forwards to reading up more on Streatham’s rich chess history!

Opposing Rwanda Deportation Plans

Stop Rwanda Protest - 5th Sept 2022

As Parliament returned, it was great to see so many people demonstrating outside the Royal Courts of Justice to stop Rwanda deportations. As twelve years of Tory policy comes back to bite us, the Government has defaulted to demonising refugees and migrants and trying to roll back hard-won rights. These deportation plans are nothing more than state-sanctioned people trafficking. We must keep exposing the latest assault on refugees for what it is: an attempt to divide and distract us.

Standing up for the Right to Safe Abortion

At the start of September, I marched to defend the right to safe abortions. Abortion is a form of healthcare. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court rolling back reproductive rights, it’s so important to stand in solidarity and put pressure on our Government to do the same on the international stage. We know there are people in the Tory Party who think that we should have a debate about whether or not women keep control over their own bodies. The Government’s recent decision to excise all reference to “sexual and reproductive health and rights” and “bodily autonomy” in an international statement on freedom of religion or belief and gender equality suggests these kind of views are winning traction.

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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