Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy has been selected to sit on the Opposition frontbenches as the new Shadow Minister for Immigration.
She replaces former Lord Mayor of Manchester, Afzal Khan MP, in the role as part of a mini Labour reshuffle that sees party leader Jeremy Corbyn preparing for his last three months as Leader.
As Streatham’s MP, Bell represents one of the most diverse boroughs in London with a high proportion of migrants. According to local government statistics from 2016, 38% of Lambeth residents were born outside the UK and 150 different languages are spoken by families across the area.
Herself the daughter of Ghanaian migrants, Ms. Ribeiro-Addy has been a consistent and outspoken supporter of migrants’ rights. As the former Chief of Staff to Diane Abbott MP, she helped expose the Home Office’s wrongful deportations of Windrush citizens and helped compose Labour’s new immigration policy.
Earlier this week she joined protests in Parliament Square, calling on the government to support cross-party legislation to enshrine the right for refugee family reunion in its EU Withdrawal Bill. After the Conservatives voted to scrap the amendment with a majority of eighty, Ms. Ribeiro-Addy tweeted:
“The way we treat the most vulnerable people in our society says a lot about our values and priorities. This government is shutting the door in the faces of refugee children. They’ll do the same to others looking for help and support.”
Announcing the news, leading Windrush lawyer and Streatham resident Jacqui Mckenzie tweeted:
“Really excited that @BellRibeiroAddy, MP for Streatham, has been appointed shadow immigration minister. Bell has been a leading advocate for people affected by the #Windrush scandal and other immigration hostilities. Congratulations Bell.”
Notes for editors:
1) Article about Bell’s role in uncovering Windrush scandal
2) Local borough statistics
3) Bell’s tweet about the government rejecting the Dubs amendment
4) Jacqui’s tweet announcing Bell’s appointment and congratulating her
5) Photos from this week’s protest