Rushanara Ali MP and Anne Main MP raise concerns over relocation of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char island

Rushanara Ali MP and Anne Main MP have today called on the Government of Bangladesh to rethink proposals for the relocation of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char Island. The two MP’s jointly chair the cross-party parliamentary group on the rights of the Rohingya. In August 2017, over 700,000 Rohingya were forced to relocate to refugee camps near Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh, after fleeing a brutal crackdown by the Myanmar military, which UN investigators declared was conducted with “genocidal intent”. Currently there are over 1 million people based in the over-crowded makeshift camps, who continue to live with extremely limited access to food, healthcare and shelter. The Bangladesh Government has considered the relocation of some Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char island as a solution to this humanitarian crisis. They hope this will ease overcrowding too. Previously, they had been unable to convince any refugees to go to the island. The plans have been publicly criticised by a number of humanitarian organisations who have expressed their concern as the silt island is susceptible to cyclones and flooding and is only accessible by boat. The UN has so far been denied the opportunity to conduct a technical and protection assessment of the island. On 20 October, the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, Mohammad Abul Kalam, declared that Bangladesh will start the relocation process at the beginning of November 2019. This follows reports that Government officials have started compiling the lists of refugees who are willing to move, and that several thousand have already confirmed their acceptance. Continue reading

Rushanara Ali MP's statement on court decision finding suspension of UK parliament unlawful

Earlier today, the Supreme Court declared the prorogation of Parliament unlawful.   Continue reading

APPG on Rights of Rohingya launches new inquiry report

On Tuesday 10 September the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rights of Rohingya launched its new report - report “A New Shape of Catastrophe”: Two years on from the 2017 Rohingya Crisis. Continue reading

Rushanara Ali MP campaigns for National School Breakfast Programme

Rushanara Ali MP has supported a campaign calling for funding to continue the National School Breakfast programme. Rushanara, along with 35 MPs from across the House of Commons wrote to the Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi, highlighting the positive impact of the National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP) and urged the minister for continued funding, to ensure this vital programme can continue the fantastic work it does. The National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP), delivered by the charities Family Action and Magic Breakfast,  reaches over 1,775 schools in disadvantaged areas across England and provides free and nutritious breakfasts to an estimated 280,000 children every school day, 115 000 of whom are eligible for Pupil Premium funding. In Bethnal Green and Bow, the NSBP provides free school breakfasts across six different schools.   Continue reading

Rushanara Ali MP chairs new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Philanthropy and Social Investment

On Monday 8 July, a new All-Party Parliamentary Group was launched to create a new platform to encourage more philanthropy, and to discuss the role of modern philanthropy and social investment in the UK.  The APPG chaired by Rushanara Ali, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, who is a member of the Treasury select committee, and supported by the Beacon Collaborative and Philanthropy Impact. The new group aims to connect parliamentarians with philanthropists, social investors, trusts and foundations, to share research and help tackle the big social challenges that we face as a country.     Continue reading

Rushanara Ali MP's statement on climate change

On 26 June Rushanara Ali MP met constituents in Westminster at The Time Is Now environment and climate lobby. The protest was one of the largest environmental campaigns with an estimated 12,000 people demanding urgent action from MPs on the natural environment and climate change.      Continue reading

Rushanara Ali MP statement on unsafe cladding

Two years ago, 72 people needlessly lost their lives in the Grenfell disaster. On 10 June 2019, Parliamentarians joined survivors and campaigners to remember those who lost their lives in the horrific tragedy. On 6 June MP’s debated the response to the Grenfell tower fire. Speaking in the debate, Rushanara Ali MP pressed the Government to fund the removal of all dangerous cladding on all buildings, irrespective of their height or purpose. On 29 April, Rushanara held an adjournment debate in support of the campaign organised by Inside Housing, UK Cladding Action Group and Grenfell United, on funding for privately-owned high-rise blocks with dangerous cladding on behalf of her constituents and residents across the country who are leaseholders. Rushanara urged the Government to legislate and make a funding commitment for repairs so that freeholders pay and cannot pass on the bills of thousands of pounds to leaseholders. Rushanara’s debate was featured in Politics Home, The Evening Standard, Inside Housing, 24 Housing and Housing Today.  Following pressure from campaigners and parliamentarians, the Government finally allocated £200 million to remove dangerous ACM cladding from social housing and private tower blocks. Commenting on the announcement, Rushanara Ali MP said: “This is a step in the right direction, however, this funding does not go far enough. It only funds the removal of ACM cladding, meaning that the 1,700 high-rise or high-risk buildings with other forms of dangerous cladding are not protected. It is sickening that two years on, the Government has failed to replace all dangerous cladding from high-rise blocks.”

Rushanara Ali MP speaks in mortgage prisoner debate

On 6 June, there was a debate on mortgage prisoners and vulture funds. In 2016, the Government sold off £13 billion worth of Northern Rock mortgages to Landmark mortgages, owned by the US equity company Cerberus. According to a BBC Panorama programme, the US firm misled Ministers and officials on mortgages. Our Government believed an undertaking that these people would have access to mortgages and competitive rates of interest Inactive lenders, such as Cerberus and even the Government firm UKAR, are not authorised to offer new mortgage products to their customers who are stuck with high interest rates. There are 150,000 people in the UK currently trapped in this predicament, on standard variable rates at 5%, whilst their friends and neighbours can access a market where interest rates are much lower. Rushanara Ali MP called on the Government to ensure that the Financial Conduct Authority takes meaningful action to protect the 150,000 mortgage prisoners currently trapped in high rates.   Continue reading

Rushanara Ali MP takes part in debate on serious violence

On 15 May 2019, there was a debate on serious violence following reports that both violent crime and knife crime offences have reached record levels. In 2017/18, 285 people were killed by knives and other sharp instruments. This is at the same time as significant cuts to the police service, with a reduction of over 21,000 police officers nationally since 2010, and funding for crime prevention programmes being slashed in half. Efforts to address the root causes of crime have been thwarted by the punishing cuts in youth services and early intervention. The £3 billion reduction in local authority children’s services funding has led to the loss of 3,600 youth workers since 2010.     Continue reading