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 – 19th March 2022

Mar 21, 2022 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter 19th March 2022

It was an honour to receive the Newcomer MP of the Year Award from the Patchwork Foundation this week. Having the chance to represent my home constituency in Parliament has been the privilege of a lifetime. It’s not been an easy time to come into the job, so I’d like to thank everyone in my team for their hard work and support, not to mention the wider Streatham community. I’d also like to say a massive congratulations to my Labour colleagues Ian Byrne MP, Zarah Sultana MP and Abena Oppong-Asare whose hard work was also recognised with well-deserved awards.

It’s been a privilege working with everyone in our community to stand up for Streatham so far. I’m so proud of what we have achieved together already; whether it’s delivering laptops to schools in need, giving newly arrived refugees a warm welcome or pushing the Government on scandalously high citizenship fees. If we can do all this under the challenging conditions of the pandemic, I’m really excited to see what we can achieve next.

Watch my award acceptance speech

Standing with Ukraine

People in Britain have opened their hearts and homes to people forced to flee Ukraine. But the Government’s response to refugees from Ukraine and elsewhere fails to match this public generosity. It reflects a situation where successive governments have built a system which denies basic rights and respect to refugees. Supporting refugees should be a government’s legal and moral obligation, not something to be left to the goodwill of individual citizens. As the late Tony Benn said, “the way the government treats refugees is very instructive because it shows how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it”. In this week’s debate on how the UK can help the Ukraine, I urged them to change course before people see them for who they really are.

The Government still don't have a real plan to address institutional racism (17th March 2022)
I also tabled an EDM in support of Ukraine this week

It’s also crucial that as the Government looks to make up the shortfall from Russian oil and gas, they don’t overlook other countries’ human rights abuses. It would be rank hypocrisy to divest from Russian oil and gas only to ramp up reliance on oil from Saudi Arabia, an authoritarian regime which continues to invade and bomb its neighbour. The solution to the energy bills crisis isn’t licensing new oil and gas and begging dictatorships to sell us more fossil fuels. It’s taking overdue steps to insulate homes, taxing energy super profits and taking energy into public ownership to accelerate the shift to renewables.

Commonwealth Day

Standing with Parliamentarians from Bermuda, Montserrat, Zambia and the Cayman Islands

This week, we marked Commonwealth Day, when we celebrate the huge contribution that people from the Commonwealth have made to our country and also acknowledge the darker side of that history. I’m a firm believer that we need a full and unedited understanding of our country’s exploitative past if we are going to build fruitful future relationships with former Commonwealth countries based on mutual understanding and respect.

I was very pleased to deliver a keynote speech at the 8th Annual Commonwealth Africa Summit on Wednesday. I spoke about the post-Covid recovery, the African Common Market, debt cancellation for climate resilience and my work with the APPG for African Reparations.

On Friday, I was happy to host a delegation of Commonwealth parliamentarians in the constituency to discuss some of the challenges facing our countries. I gave them a grand tour of some iconic local landmarks and highlighted some of the work we in the Labour Party have been doing in Streatham and Lambeth. As the world responds to climate breakdown and the ongoing global pandemic, international co-operation is more important than ever.

Racism in Policing: Enough Apologies, Time for Action

This week, the Met have apologised to a child they strip-searched two years ago after wrongly suspecting her of carrying cannabis. She was on her period and did not have an adult present. But we don’t need any more apologies, we need action. I was a signatory of a joint statement from Labour black women MPs about this degrading and disgusting treatment. We set out that this is not an isolated incident and there is an urgent need to restore the principle of policing by consent by addressing widespread abuses. The next Met Commissioner must put addressing racism within policing at the centre of their vision for the force and focus on restoring confidence.

I also responded to the Government’s action plan in Parliament, expressing the frustration many people feel about their decision to use the widely discredited Sewell Report as a basis for this. A report that starts from the premise that institutional racism does not exist is not going to tackle the long-acknowledged problem of institutional racism or eliminate the racism experienced at the hands of the police by too many communities.

Watch my contribution on the Government’s Race Action plan

Yesterday, the police officer who kidnapped and killed Sarah Everard was charged with four counts of indecent exposure. If only these allegations had been treated with the seriousness they deserved at the time they were made, instead of being brushed under the carpet.

Constituency News

With local faith leaders in Parliament

I was very happy to host the Lambeth clergy in Parliament with my MP colleagues Florence Eshalomi and Helen Hayes on Thursday. It was great to check in with local faith leaders, who played an important part in our community’s response to Covid and provided extensive support to people in Streatham.

On the picket line with GDST students last month.

After six days of nationwide strike action, teachers at GDST have won an end to the threat of fire and rehire, the right to stay in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and an enhanced pay offer. A great result for National Education Union members who stood together and for teachers across the UK.

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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