Bell’s Regular Newsletter – 30th October 2022

Oct 30, 2022 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

30th October 2022

Dear *|FNAME|*,

This week saw Rishi Sunak’s coronation by Tory MPs, just four days after the implosion of Liz Truss’s short-lived leadership. Not even Tory members got a vote on this as just 357 Tory MPs appointed our latest Prime Minister.

As the same familiar faces return to the Cabinet, all the early indications suggest this is a moment of continuity rather than change with the inequality, corruption, and mismanagement that have characterised the last twelve years of Tory Government.

Sunak’s family is richer than the King, with a personal fortune of ÂŁ730 million. In spite of this, his family avoided up to ÂŁ20 million in tax by claiming non-dom status and Sunak himself had a green card even during his time as Chancellor. When he was running to be leader, Sunak bragged to Conservative Party members in Tunbridge Wells about rigging Treasury funding formulas to divert money to leafy Tory shires – away from areas where it was most needed.

We don’t need another unelected multimillionaire imposed on the country to inflict huge public service cuts and safeguard the interests of the super rich. We need a General Election now.

Improving Support for Baby Loss

Improving Support for Families Facing Baby Loss (25th Oct 2022)

In Tuesday’s Baby Loss Awareness debate, I urged the Government to ensure safe staffing levels by paying midwives properly and address the racial inequalities we still see in maternal health outcomes. We must ensure that everyone gets the support they need to deal with the trauma of baby loss.

For every 30 midwives trained, NHS England loses 29. We have a shortage of 2,000+ midwives. Ensuring those experiencing baby loss get the highest levels of care and support means paying midwives properly and devising an action plan to end the staffing crisis. In a recent survey of midwifes considering quitting, 80% said lack of staff played a part and 67% said they were unhappy with the quality of care they were able to deliver. We desperately need to address this.

Black women are two times more likely to experience stillbirth, 50 per cent more likely to experience neonatal death and 43 per cent more likely to experience miscarriage. Still, the Government refuses to set binding targets to end these racial disparities. The Black Maternal Health All Party Parliamentary Group will be lobbying MPs to commit to this again next week at our Annual General Meeting, where we will also be discussing two major recent reports into Black Maternal Health.

Click here to join us for the APPG for Black Maternal Health AGM next week

Black Blood Donors Needed

I was pleased to host NHS Blood and Transplant’s Black History Month event in Parliament to raise awareness of the urgent need for more Black blood donors. It’s vital that we celebrate Black blood donors and the work being done by NHS Blood and Transplant and other changemakers in this area.

With 250 donations now needed every day for sickle cell patients and demand only likely to grow, we urgently need more people from Black ethnicities to come forwards and give blood. Just fifteen minutes of your time can save someone else’s life.

Ethnically matched blood provides the best treatment for sickle cell, keeping those most severely affected healthy and enabling them to lead fulfilling lives. With thousands of new Black blood donors required, I want to see the Government exploring further reforms around blood donation too.

Removing discriminatory blood donation laws for people from Black African communities last year was a big step forwards but these laws still cast a long shadow. There’s more work to do to build community confidence, make giving blood more inclusive and ensure everyone’s healthcare needs are met.

Register to Give Blood and Save Lives today

Voting Down the “Brexit Freedoms Bill”

This week, MPs debated and had the chance to vote on the Government’s Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, billed by the Brexiteers as the Brexit Freedoms Bill. It’s absurd that we’re in a situation where the Government is contemplating clogging up the civil service with a massive review of laws that overwhelmingly improve our living standards and protect workers and the environment from exploitation.

I voted against this Bill, which would switch off 47 years of laws drawn up during EU membership in December 2023. It’s not about freedom; it’s about freedom for the Tories to rip up some of the baseline environmental and consumer protections that we currently enjoy.

Accountability for Deaths in State Custody

I joined the United Friends and Families Campaign (UFFC) yesterday to march for justice for the thousands of families who have lost loved ones in state custody. Every year since 1999, the UFFC has held an annual remembrance procession from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street to remember their loved ones and demand justice.

1,838 people have died in police custody or following contact with the police since 1990 in England and Wales. Just one of these killings has resulted in a conviction, with families frequently denied answers about how their loved ones died – let alone answers. Just last month, we saw the fatal police shooting of Chris Kaba in our own constituency. His family’s fight has only strengthened my resolve to fight for answers and accountability from the police.

Opening the New Playground at Hillside Gardens Park

It was a pleasure to join the Friends of Hillside Gardens Park for their “Hillside Gardens Halloween Fiesta” in Streatham Hill East on Sunday and open their new playground. Thanks in part to funding from Lambeth Council, the park has had a big upgrade, with new pathways paved, the tennis and sports courts refurbished, and a new playground installed. Having high-quality green spaces that are accessible to the whole community is really important for physical and mental wellbeing so it’s great to see these improvements.

Celebrating Diwali at the Shree Swaminarayan Temple

It was a pleasure to join the Shree Swaminarayan Temple for their Diwali celebrations on Wednesday. Wishing a very prosperous and healthy Diwali to everyone who has been celebrating this week. May the light illuminate your lives and homes!

Welcoming Dr Julius W Garvey to our Community

I was honoured to welcome Dr Julius W Garvey, son of legendary political activist Marcus Garvey, to Streatham this week, where he was giving a talk to Lambeth Youth Council. We met at Lambeth Town Hall to talk about the work of the APPG on Reparations and the need for a global movement working together towards reparatory justice.

Celebrating Black History Month with Looked After Children

It was great to join Lambeth foster children and carers to celebrate Black History Month on Friday. I talked about growing up in Lambeth, how I ended up representing Streatham as an MP, what my job entails and the importance of aspiration and advocacy. We have a duty to ensure that foster carers are properly supported and provide every child with a stable, loving home and the conditions to thrive.

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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