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Politics Series 2: British Ghanaians standing for re-election

In 2019, Bell Ribeiro-Addy and Abena Oppong-Asare became the UK's first two female British Ghanaian MPs - 32 years after Lord Boateng became the first British Ghanaian MP.


In 2021, we at AKADi Magazine, profiled the leading British Ghanaians in UK politics in our sixth digital magazine issue. We called it ‘Ghanaians in Politics’.


Ahead of the 4 July UK Parliamentary elections, we take a glance back at the Ghanaian names in the UK’s political scene that we covered, look at what they’ve been doing since and highlight some newer faces on the political scene.


A new set of constituency boundaries will be used for the 2024 election. This means that some constituency boundaries may have changed since the last election.


In the second in this series of posts about British Ghanaians in politics, we take a look at Bell and Abena.


Bellavia Janet Ribeiro-Addy is a British Labour Party politician. She was the MP for Streatham from 2019 until the boundaries to her constituency were changed and replaced with Clapham and Brixton. In January 2024, she was selected to contest the seat in the UK general elections on 4 July.

 

Bell Ribeiro-Addy ©
Bell Ribeiro-Addy ©

Bell worked as the Chief of Staff for Britain’s longest-serving Black MP – Labour Party member Diane Abbott. And weeks after being elected, Bell was appointed as Shadow Minister for Immigration under former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

 

Bell with former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ©
Bell with former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ©

However, two and a half months in that role and following the appointment of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in April 2020, she was not retained.


Born and raised in Brixton Hill, she describes herself as a life-long socialist. She has voted against the Tory's Rwanda Deportation scheme, stood on the picket lines with striking public service workers, including: nurses, teachers and ambulance workers, and pushing for policing reforms and policies.

 

Bell chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for African Reparations and chaired a two-day conference in October 2023, called the UK Reparations Conference - 30 years after the first Pan-African Conference on Reparations in 1993.


She founded APPG-AR to raise awareness around the legacies of slavery and colonialism and to explore policy proposals that can be addressed through parliamentary channels.


Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP and Abena, editor of AKADi Magazine at the UK Reparations Conference ©
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP and Abena, editor of AKADi Magazine at the UK Reparations Conference ©

 

Abena Oppong-Asare is a Labour Party candidate in Erith and Thamesmead who is running for re-election in the UK Parliamentary general elections. 


Abena Oppong-Asare. CC-by-SA.3.0
Abena Oppong-Asare. CC-by-SA.3.0

She was elected as the MP for Erith and Thamesmead in the 2019 general election.

 

After becoming an MP, she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Luke Pollard MP - Labour's then Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

 

Image credit - Abena Oppong-Asare

She later became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds MP. In October 2020, she was appointed as Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and in 2023, she was appointed as Shadow Minister for Women's Health and Mental Health. 




Join us in the next post where we will be profiling British Ghanaian more politicians that are seeking election.


This article is an original piece written by AKADi Magazine. The contents of this page cannot be reproduced without permission.

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