March 2024: News from local MP Thangam Debonnaire

Work towards a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza and Israel

The horrors of recent months in Israel and Gaza have been intolerable. We cannot become desensitised to the civilian deaths we are witnessing. There has been no let-up to the suffering in Gaza, no end to the cruelty for hostages. Millions are displaced, desperate, hungry.

Israel continues to use devastating tactics that have seen far too many innocent civilians killed, with unacceptable blocks on essential aid, nowhere safe for civilians, a humanitarian catastrophe and now warnings of a deadly famine. Meanwhile, Hamas terrorists continues to hold hostages, hide among civilians and fire rockets into Israel.

I was hugely disappointed that the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently repeated his opposition to a state of Palestine. The Labour Party, and I personally, have long been committed to the idea of two states of Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace.

At the time of writing, I am deeply alarmed at reports that Israel is preparing a major military operation in Rafah. An Israeli offensive there would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences. We need an end to the fighting now.

Knife crime in the city

Like many of you, I have been shocked by the recent incidents of knife crime in Bristol.

Last week another young life taken by the cruel knife crime epidemic. My thoughts are with the young boy’s family and friends as they come to terms with this tragic loss. We need swift firm action for those carrying and early intervention to stop people from doing so in the first place.

I’ll continue working for a targeted programme in Bristol to identify young people at risk as well as more youth workers, youth hubs and mental health support.

Voting against the Offshore Petroleum Bill

Many people have reached out to me about the Offshore Petroleum Bill. I completely agree with what my constituents are telling me about the Bill – it is unnecessary, undermines action on climate change and will not cut energy bills or increase energy security. Therefore, I joined my Labour colleagues and opposed it at its Second Reading in the House of Commons, on 31st January.

Doubling down on fossil fuels will make Britain more insecure, not less.

Unfortunately, as you may know, the Bill passed its Second Reading. I assure you that I will continue to support efforts to oppose it through its further parliamentary stages.