April 2023 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Many thanks for taking the time to look at my latest newsletter for April 2023.

I hope you enjoy this update on some of the work I have been doing in Erith and Thamesmead and in Parliament over the last month.

As ever, if you want to get in touch, don’t hesitate to contact me using the email address: abena.oppongasare.mp@parliament.uk


Stephen Lawrence Day

It was a privilege this month to be invited by the Stephen Lawrence Foundation to attend the Stephen Lawrence 30th Anniversary Memorial Service. This was a significant and inspirational occasion as we cherished Stephen’s memory and came together to spread a message of hope and change.

Those of us who were growing up in South East London at the time of Stephen’s murder know we have come a long way. However, we all know that we have so much further still to go. It is important that we all come together to honour Stephen’s life and commit to making sure the next 30 years are meaningfully different from the last.

I was also pleased to join Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE and Keir Starmer at their in-conversation event to discuss Stephen’s legacy and the great work of the Stephen Lawrence Foundation. It was especially great to hear about what they have been doing to help young people and what they plan to do in the future to inspire a more equitable, inclusive society.

April has been another important month in Parliament as I have been able to raise a number of issues that I know constituents in Erith and Thamesmead and so many across the country are really concerned about.

In my role as Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, I spoke for Labour in the Finance Bill Committee of the House and I closed the Opposition Day debate on the cost of living crisis. In the Finance Bill speeches, I challenged the Government with my concerns about their policies on energy and alcohol duty and I made clear Labour’s critiques and position on these important issues.

Then for the cost-of-living debate I outlined the devastating impact that the current squeeze is taking on ordinary families. I mentioned that despite high inflation and stagnating wages, the Government has raised the tax burden to its highest point in 70 years, including 24 tax rises since 2019. I criticised the government for the lack of any clear plan to sort out the economy and turn around this cost-of-living crisis. You can read my speech online here or watch a clip on Twitter here.

However, an issue of such important in our community is housing. At Prime Minister’s Questions this month I questioned the Prime Minister about our current housing crisis. I reminded him that mortgages are soaring, rents are rising and housebuilding is set to fall to a post-war low. I fear that the Prime Minister’s lack of action is putting at risk the needs and dreams of millions of young people and families across the country. You can see a clip of my question to the Prime Minister on Twitter here or on the BBC website here.

My April Surgery and an Update on Casework

My office continues to receive hundreds of emails a month on many important issues effecting constituents in Erith and Thamesmead.  

This month I held another surgery, and I was deeply saddened to hear of the experiences my constituents are facing on a wide range of issues.

Currently, food prices are soaring, and people’s rent and mortgages continue to increase. I receive a large amount of casework which makes clear what impact the cost-of-living crisis and 13 years of a Conservative government is having on people’s lives.   

For all those who are struggling, I continue to share my Cost-of-Living booklet to help them know where to access support when needed. The link to the booklet is here: https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/cost-of-living/ 

For those who would like a surgery appointment with me, they are always welcome to contact my office who will be able to add you to the next available surgery.

Visit to Discovery Primary School

I was delighted to visit Discovery Primary School and meet the newly formed Junior Leadership Team. The students took me on a tour before asking me lots of insightful questions about my life as an MP.

I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and ambition of the students in the Junior Leadership Team and I am sure they all have a bright future ahead.

Meeting with Youth Unity

I also had a very positive catch-up with Youth Unity, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing effective help and support to vulnerable young people and adults who are affected by group violence (gangs), drugs, and other forms of exploitation such as human trafficking, CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation), and extremism.

We discussed the organisation’s intensive mentoring scheme, Josh’s story project, film making and community arts along with areas we can work together in future.

Nepalese New Year

Really enjoyed seeing in the Nepalese New Year 2080 with the Royal Borough of Greenwich Nepalese Society and Greenwich Mummies. I want to thank Cllr Jit Ranabhat for the kind invitation.

I hope that everyone celebrating across Erith and Thamesmead had a great celebration with family and friends.


  • Neighbourhood Watch Parliamentary Event – It was very nice to meet the central Neighbourhood Watch team this month and to hear about the great work they’ve been doing including on their new Community Safety Charter. Delighted to hear Greenwich Council was the first to sign up to the charter.
  • Happy Easter – Very pleased to hear from those celebrating Easter in Erith and Thamesmead. I hope everyone had good festivities with family and friends.
  • Eid Mubarak – This month was Eid Mubarak and so I want to wish a happy Eid al-Fitr to all Muslims celebrating in Erith and Thamesmead. As we end the holy month of Ramadam, I hope those celebrating had an enjoyable and inspiring time with family and friends.
  • Happy Tamil and Bengali New Years – Wishing all those from the Tamil and Sinhala community and Bengali community in Erith and Thamesmead, the UK and around the world a very happy New year.
  • Happy Vaisakhi – This month, I’m pleased to wish Sikhs here and around the world a very happy Vaisakhi. Vaisakhi di lakh lakh vidai.
  • Happy Passover – Chag Samech to all those who were observing Passover this month. I hope you had a happy and healthy holiday.
  • St George’s Day – Last Sunday 23rd April was St George’s Day and I want to send a Happy St George’s Day message to everyone across Erith and Thamesmead and England.  

Sign up to my Coffee Morning

If you are interested in coming along to a future Coffee Morning, I’ve just launched my webpage where you, your family and friends can sign up to register your interest in attending a meeting.

Sign up:  https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/upcoming-events/coffeemorning/

Stay updated on social media

For regular updates on my activities, follow me on Twitter (@abenaopp), Facebook (Abena Oppong-Asare MP, Erith and Thamesmead), and Instagram (abena.oppongasare.mp).

You can also sign up to my digital newsletter at www.abenaoppongasare.com/get_in_touch