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 – 6th May

May 6, 2023 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

6th May 2023

Dear *|FNAME|*,

The country has delivered its first verdict on Rishi Sunak’s Government. The hundreds of Tory Councillors given their marching orders are an indictment of their Party’s decimation of our public services, their failure to tackle the housing crisis, and their constant prioritisation of the rich. After 13 years of public service cuts for the many and tax cuts for the few, people have had enough. Meanwhile, it’s been a positive set of results for the Labour Party with some significant gains up and down the country: from Medway to Middlesborough and Bracknell Forest to Blackpool. It was great to be out helping voters get to the ballot box on polling day in sunny Crawley, where Labour won a majority on the Council.

Bell knocks on a door with a leaflet in hand as Helen Hayes MP talks to someone on the doorstep.

I am concerned by the many reports I’ve read and heard of voters being turned away for not having valid ID. Sadly, we won’t get a full picture of how many people were barred from voting because the government isn’t collecting comprehensive data on how many are turned away. However, what we do know is that just 85,000 of the 2 million eligible voters signed up for their poorly advertised and hastily rolled out voter ID cards.

My Latest South London Press Column on Voter ID Changes

Today will also see King Charles III crowned at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony which is set to cost an estimated £250 million. I have been concerned by the way people expressing their opposition to the Monarchy have been treated over the last year: from the arrests made during last year’s national mourning period after death of Queen Elizabeth II to the letters sent to republicans ahead of the coronation. Whilst acknowledging continued public support for monarchy, I believe it’s also important to recognise the growing favour towards having an elected head of state, particularly among younger age groups. However you’re spending it, I wish you a very happy Bank Holiday weekend!

Meeting with the New Metropolitan Police Borough Commander

Bell outside her constituency office with the new Met Borough Commander

On Friday, I met with the new Borough Commander Seb Adjei-Addoh to discuss issues in our local area and how we can work together to build a safer Streatham. Thank you to our outgoing Borough Commander Colin Wingrove for his work over the last three years.

The Government Must Strengthen its Windfall Tax

Labour Graphic: 'Under the Tories, energy giants are taking £60 million in profits every day but Rishi Sunak refuses to implement a proper windfall tax to help working people.'

Fossil fuel companies are once again reporting bumper windfall profits for the first three months of the year, £4 billion in profit for BP and £7.7 billion for Shell. During the same period, Shell handed £14 to shareholders and invested £6 in fossil fuels for every £1 invested in renewables. BP paid shareholders ten times more than they invested in low carbon infrastructure. For companies like Shell and BP, the future of our planet will always come a distant second to their profit margins and delivering for shareholders.

Last year, an estimated 3.2 million Brits on prepayment meters ran out of credit: 1 person every 10 seconds. In the same period, Shell and BP made combined profits of £55 billion: £17,440 every 10 seconds. Labour is calling on the Government to strengthen the Windfall Tax by taxing oil and gas profits at higher rates, scrapping investment loopholes that hand money back to fossil fuel companies and backdating the tax to early 2022 to capture the profits missed whilst the Tories dragged their feet. The Government needs to shift the cost of rising energy prices and climate breakdown away from struggling households and onto profiting corporations.

68 is Too Late: Opposing an Increase in the Pension Age

Bell with John McDonnell MP and Unite Activists holding a banner opposing pension increase: “68 is too late - don’t raise the pension age”

I was with Unite activists on Tuesday afternoon as they attempted to hand over a petition opposing government plans to increase the pension age to 68. Whilst they recently delayed this move amid news that life expectancy has stalled, they are planning to revisit this after the next election. Under the Tories, Britain has become a poor society with a few very rich people.  As one of the largest economies in the world, we have the resources to ensure decent living standards for everyone. Instead of stealing people’s retirement, we need a government that will work to tackle the inequalities that are holding us back.

Cannabis Europa: Discussing a Better Approach to Drugs Policy

Picture of Bell speaking on a stage at Cannabis Europa conference with other panellists in front of a powerpoint backdrop on Harm Reduction in the UK & Ireland.

Cannabis Europa brings together scientific experts, advocacy groups, politicians and figures from the European cannabis industry. I took part in a panel this week discussing the need for drugs policy reform in the UK context and a new approach to cannabis which prioritises evidence, justice, and harm reduction. When the status quo of UK drugs policy is Black teenagers getting strip searched because someone smells cannabis whilst each year brings a new record of drug-related deaths, it’s clearly time for a grown-up conversation about our approach to drugs policy and the harm it does to communities.

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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