Bell Ribeiro-Addy

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour Candidate for Clapham & Brixton Hill
From Clapham & Brixton Hill, For Clapham & Brixton Hill

Please note: Parliament has now been dissolved until after the General Election, meaning I am no longer an MP.

Constituency Newsletter – 17th May 2024

May 17, 2024 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

17th May 2024

Dear *|FNAME|*,

This week was the debate on the Palestinian family reunion scheme and the release of the Birth Trauma Report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). Mothers of all races but particularly Black and Brown mothers have been failed by the system. Had midwifery grown in the same capacity as the rest of the NHS, we would not be experiencing a shortage in midwives today. Instead, we are seeing huge strain on existing maternal health services, putting the lives of mothers and babies at risk. Retention of midwives is even worse with most leaving the profession to pursue other work. Midwives are overworked and underpaid and allowing conditions like these to perpetuate is only going to produce grievous outcomes for many.

I am proud of the fact that when Russia launched its criminal invasion of Ukraine, the UK stepped up to help those fleeing from war. It therefore perplexes me that in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the unrelenting bombing campaign inflicted on the civilian population, and the recent offensive in Rafah that leaves Palestinians with no safe place to escape, that the government denies them the opportunity to seek refuge in the UK, even if they already have family here. If racism and geopolitics do not play a role, then what is the root of this apathy toward the plight of the Palestinian people? We need a Homes for Palestinians Scheme now.

In Parliament

  • This week, the House of Commons voted on proposals to exclude MPs from the Parliamentary estate when they come under investigation for sexual misconduct or related offences. As of 2023, there were some 56 MPs under investigation for sexual misconduct, yet all were free to come onto the parliamentary estate, where they posed a risk. I voted for an amendment to toughen this up by raising the threshold for considering exclusion from the point of charge to the point of arrest. This passed by just one vote, with a cadre of Tory MPs still voting against. 

  • The Criminal Justice Bill was back before MPs this week for its report stage. I supported key amendments aimed at preventing the criminalisation of rough sleeping, decriminalising women who make the deeply personal choice to have an abortion and banning the sale of “ninja swords”. It’s unjust and inhumane to subject women to multi-year police investigations and the threat of imprisonment for exercising autonomy over their bodies and reproductive health. 

  • This week, MPs debated the question of creating a Palestinian family reunion scheme after more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling for one. As well as pushing for an end to the killing in Gaza, the government has a duty to provide sanctuary to Palestinians with relatives in the UK. Instead of working towards this, the Home Office is rejecting claims and telling people to travel through a war zone to submit data. I raised the case of my constituent, whose family members were told to do precisely this and highlighted the fact that the government was able to establish a Homes for Ukraine Scheme in a matter of weeks. Where is the Home for Palestinians scheme?  

 Birth Trauma Report Inquiry Published 

This week the Birth Trauma Inquiry report by the cross-party Birth Trauma All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) was published. The Birth Trauma Inquiry is a reminder that maternity care is letting down too many women, especially those from minoritised and marginalised communities. Its findings and recommendations must be acted on without delay. I was also pleased to see this report highlighting some of the clear inequalities that Black, Asian and mixed-race mothers continue to face in maternity care. It is absolutely vital that our government sets a binding target to address the racism that negatively impacts health outcomes, as Labour has committed to do. 

Opposing the Rwanda Scheme and Shock Immigration Raids 

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP sitting with Jeremy Corbyn MP. They are speaking to a group of Youth from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in a parliamentary meeting room. The wallpaper is embellished and behind them is a fireplace.

Last week, I joined a rally against the government’s Rwanda Scheme and called by Stand up to Racism, Care4Calais and the TUC. Alongside Jeremy Corbyn, Daniel Kebede, and representatives of these organisations, I spoke loud and clear against the inhumane immigration policies enforced by Sunak’s Tory government. Focusing on the disturbing practice of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda and the shock detention raid operations carried out during the local elections, the rally served as a platform to raise awareness and demand change. The government should stop the raids and stop the flights. Instead of deporting people to countries with questionable human rights records, we need to expand safe routes, speed up asylum claims and let people rebuild their lives in safety. 

Christian Aid Week 

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP speaking on the ITV Peston show. There is a blue and pink background with yellow tones.

It was a pleasure to attend my colleague Fleur Anderson MP’s Christian Aid Week parliamentary reception highlighting the African debt crisis. The report ‘Between life and debt’ argues that tackling global poverty will be impossible without ending the debt crisis and calls for the UK government to use its outsized role to get debts for lower-income countries cancelled. Debilitating debt repayments leave many countries unable to invest in health, education and climate resilience.  Most of the bonds owed by countries eligible for G20 debt relief schemes are governed by English law. The UK government should be leading on this and ensuring private lenders cooperate on debt relief schemes. 

Walkabout in Brixton Hill Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour 

I was pleased to organise a walkabout with local police and Brixton Hill residents, last week to discuss anti-social behaviour in the area and what can be done. It’s important for the police to hear directly from the communities they serve. We need the police to be there when people need them, and it is essential to address the complex social causes underlying many of these issues. 

Streatham Kite Festival 

It was a joy to attend the official Streatham Kite Day, London’s premier kite festival last Sunday. With the sun shining and, the wind blowing, it was the perfect weather for a day full of kite flying. A big thank you and well done to the Friends of Streatham Common team, for their efforts in planning and funding this wonderful festival. Their commitment to enriching our community through events like Kite Day is truly commendable. It was fantastic to see so many of you flying kites, supporting local businesses and enjoying the live music. I look forward attending and seeing even more of you next year. 

Christ Church Drop-In 

In a Year 6 Design and Technology Christ Church classroom, students were discussing sustainability and how they can create more sustainable and environmentally friendly playgrounds. As part of their social action project, they were tasked with writing to their member of Parliament (me) with their suggestions. 

Their ideas included solar panels at school, vegetable gardens and more flower beds. As the saying goes, ‘children are the future’ and witnessing their dedication to sustainability fills me with hope for what lies ahead. I dropped off my responses to them last week. It’s always good to hear from my young constituents about their ideas and aspirations for a greener, more sustainable future. 

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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