30th September 2023

Sep 30, 2023 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

30th September 2023

Dear *|FNAME|*,

The Tories reached another low in their attack on refugees this week as the Home Secretary jetting off to the USA to declare that we should roll back the UN Refugee Convention. In a speech that used language redolent of Enoch Powell and gestured to the great replacement theory, the Home Secretary claimed suggested that women and LGBTQ+ people fearing persecution shouldn’t be able to seek sanctuary in the UK.

She knows full well that all over the world, many LGBTQ+ people still face persecution, imprisonment, and even death, simply for being who they are. 66 countries criminalise sex between two men or two women. 32 are in the Commonwealth. 12 states still execute people for being LGBTQ+.

The Tories’ disgusting and near-constant scapegoating of refugees aims to divide and distract voters from the ruin inflicted on the country during 13 years of misrule: the housing crisis, record NHS waiting lists, crumbling public services and plunging wages. The lower they sink in the polls, the lower they will stoop.

Talking to Rush Common Residents

Local canvassers from Rush Common pose with Lambeth Council Voter ID information signs.

It was good to be out on the doorstep in Rush Common over the weekend talking to residents and raising awareness around the new Tory Voter ID laws. Enacted ahead of the most recent local elections, these laws are designed to make it harder for people to vote. They worked much as intended in this year’s local elections, stopping 14,000 people from casting their ballot. These voters were disproportionately young, working-class, and from ethnic minority backgrounds, as opponents of this legislation predicted. Older people were also among those more likely to be turned away. We need to build a movement to overcome barriers to participation, repeal this legislation, and ensure everyone can have their say. If democracy is going to work for everyone, it has to include everyone. 

Streatham Common Fun Dog Show

Bell stands with Lambeth Deputy Mayor John Paul Ennis, who holds a small dog.

The Streatham Common Fun Dog Show is one of the highlights of our local calendar, bringing dog-lovers from around the constituency together to celebrate our favourite canines. It was great to take part in the rescheduled show and give out the coveted Best Puppy Award. Special thanks to the Friends of Streatham Common who put many hours in to make this happen every year and to the organisers, volunteers, dog owners and all our canine friends who made it such a pawfect day out!

Black Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week

Bell sits on a pink sofa next to three other women, speaking into a microphone.

It was great to join almost a hundred Black mothers, policymakers and healthcare professionals for the launch of a short film from The Motherhood Group and Impact Urban Health about the continued health inequalities facing Black mothers. This week is Black Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. Black mothers are three times likelier to experience postnatal depression yet far less likely to get support – another statistic that highlights the necessity to turn awareness into action. With growing awareness around these issues, we need the Government to set some clear and measurable targets to address them. 

Organ Donation Awareness Week

Bell holds up a giant pink NHS organ donor card, wearing a pink NHS organ donation t-shirt that says "the gift of life" on it.

It was great to be Windrush Square last weekend to mark organ awareness donation week celebrate Black organ donors and spread awareness of the need for more donors from ethnic minority donors. Overall consent rates were 40% for ethnic minority donors last year compared to 71% for White potential donors. There is a significant need for more organ donors of Black and Asian heritage to help the growing number of patients awaiting life-saving transplants. Blood and tissue matches are most likely to be found between people of the same ethnicity.

Register as an NHS OrganDonor today

Visiting the South London Islamic Centre

Bell stands inside the South London Islamic Centre alongside four other people

Last weekend, mosques across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland invited in neighbours to share tea and refreshments, alongside an insight into the day-to-day goings on of a busy Muslim centre of worship. It was lovely to be with at the South London Islamic Centre as they opened their doors to the local community. Whilst the Government launches vile attacks on multiculturalism, communities like ours are building bridges and showing that our diversity is our greatest strength. 

King’s College Hospital REACH Network Conference

Bell stands in King's College Hospital with several staff members.

It was wonderful to join staff from King’s College Hospital NHS  Foundation Trust for their annual Race, Ethnicity, Culture and Heritage (REACH) Network Conference. The NHS is one of the most diverse employers in the UK, with nearly a quarter of the workforce coming from Black, Asian and ethnic minority background. Yet racism in our health service is still commonplace for staff. Initiatives like these are so valuable in addressing it and making our NHS a better place to work for all staff.

GUBA Awards 2023 Parliamentary Launch

Bell stands at GUBA's parliamentary reception with television host Paul Carrick Brunson.

It was fantastic to be the official parliamentary sponsor for the 2023 GUBA Awards launch party. GUBA stands for Grow, Unite, Build Africa and every year these awards celebrate pan-African excellence in a range of different areas. The event was attended by a range of luminaries, including African ambassadors, policymakers, enterpreneurs, and entertainers and was hosted by the brilliant Paul Carrick Brunson of Married at First Sight fame.

As ever, if you have any questions about the work I’m doing as MP, please get in touch at this address: bell.ribeiroaddy.mp@parliament.uk.

Best wishes,

Bell Ribeiro-Addy,
Labour MP for Streatham

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