Local MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP was tonight (16 March) named as the 2021 Newcomer MP of the Year by the diversity and inclusion charity Patchwork Foundation.
The Labour MP for Streatham, whose constituency includes parts of Brixton, was recognised for her work championing under-represented communities at the foundation’s awards ceremony in Westminster.
Awards were presented by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, in Speaker’s House, his official resicdence.
MPs are nominated for the awards by the public and winners are selected by independent judges.
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP was recognised for her efforts to combat digital exclusion among children and to help them to continue their education through the pandemic, as well as her championing of refugee rights and inclusion in her constituency.
She said it was an honour to receive the award.
“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: from local charities to youth services, faith groups, local Labour members and frontline workers in our schools, care homes, NHS, and emergency services. It’s been an honour working with everyone in our community to stand up for Streatham.
“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.”
Imran Sanaullah MBE, CEO of the Patchwork Foundation said: “After such a challenging few years, celebrating all the amazing work MPs have been doing across the country to champion, engage, and represent underrepresented communities has been enormously uplifting.
“It also demonstrates how important this work is, as we seek to address the divisions in our society and lack of trust in our politics.
Other winners included Ian Byrne MP (Overall MP of the Year), Zarah Sultana MP (Young People’s MP of the Year), Alan Mak MP (Conservative MP of the Year), Abena Oppong-Asare MP (Labour MP of the Year), and Dr Lisa Cameron (Other Party MP of the Year). The Judge’s Special Recognition Award was also given in memory of the late Sir David Amess.
The 2021 judging panel included: Shabir Randeree CBE (Chairman, Prince’s Trust Mosaic), Lord Simon Woolley (Director, Operation Black Vote), Yasmin Waljee OBE (International Pro-Bono Director, Hogan Lovells), Sereena Abbasi (Equity & Inclusion Consultant), Matt Hyde OBE (Chief Executive, The Scouts Association), Jo Yule (CEO, Missing People), Phil Champain (Director, Faith and Belief Forum) and Sajidah Patel (Director, Naz Legacy Foundation).
Previous Patchwork Foundation award winners include chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak and secretary of state for health Sajid Javid.
The foundation was launched in 2012 to promote, encourage and support the active participation of young people from under-represented, disadvantaged and minority communities in British democracy and civil society.