Caroline Lucas MP Newsletter



Happy New Year – pleased to share my first newsletter of 2023! Here are some highlights of my work from the first couple of weeks this year:


I'm hearing deeply troubling reports coming out of the Royal Sussex, with patients dying in hospital corridors – and it’s a pattern being repeated right across the country. It’s clear that 13 years of Tory Government underfunding, understaffing and undervaluing our NHS is costing lives. This crisis demands an emergency response – fair pay for nurses and ambulance workers, a major staff recruitment and retention drive, and an immediate injection of investment in the NHS and social care. Any further delay simply isn’t an option. Rishi Sunak may talk of “union paymasters” - but I dare him to look an NHS worker in the eye and repeat it. Those who have been striking for fair pay are simply people seeking to make ends meet and trying to do the best for their families, and I am standing with them.

Fossil fuels and the cost of living crisis

Fossil fuels are at the heart of the cost of living and climate crises – choking our planet with toxic emissions, and subjecting people to skyrocketing bills. It didn’t have to be this way – the Tories’ decision to ‘cut the green crap’ back in 2013 made our gas imports 13% higher, and our household bills £13 billion higher. The Government can undo the damage by adopting a street-by-street, local authority-led home insulation programme, to slash energy bills, reduce carbon emissions, and keep people warm this winter. But Ministers must deliver more than the ‘too little too late’ announcements of insufficient funding, much of which won’t be available until 2025 when it’s needed right now. I held a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament – you can watch my speech here.

Standing with Alaa's sister Sanaa outside the Foreign Office

ACRS Scheme for Afghan refugees

This month marks one year since the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme was set up; its aim was to help Afghans, particularly those who are at risk because of their work with the British Government, resettle in the UK after the horrific Taliban takeover in 2021. The Government pledged to resettle 5,000 Afghans in the first year – yet one year on, this promise has been shattered. Under pathway 2, just four individuals have so far been resettled in the UK, and under Pathway 3, not a single person has been accepted here. Chevening alumni, who once studied at the University of Sussex here in Brighton, have had countless promises, positive signals, expressions of concern, apologies for delay from people across our Government – yet still no action. It’s time for the Government to deliver on its promises. Read my article in The Independent.

Ella's Law

Air pollution is an invisible killer of thousands, and an insidious health threat to millions – including children like Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi-Debrah, the first child to have air pollution listed as cause of death on her death certificate. Clean air isn’t, and should never be, just a ‘nice-to-have’ – it must be a human right. So I’m urging all MPs to back Ella’s Law, which I’m championing in the House of Commons, to make that sure tragic deaths like Ella’s never happen again. This week, I held a Parliamentary drop-in event alongside Rosamund, Ella’s mum, to garner support for the Bill, and the story was the headline in the Evening Standard last Thursday.

Standing with Alaa's sister Sanaa outside the Foreign Office

Pre-payment meters

With temperatures plummeting below zero, the need for heating and electricity is literally a matter of life or death. Yet this latest evidence couldn’t be any more stark – court warrants are being rubber-stamped en masse, without any consideration for due process or individual cases, and hundreds of thousands of pre-payment meters are being forcibly installed in vulnerable households as a result. There is a clear way out of this situation – to ban the forced installation of pre-payment meters by court warrant altogether. It’s entirely within the Government’s power – so it’s simply inexcusable to pass the buck or delay. I've pressed Ministers for urgent action now. You can read more in the i.

Executions in Iran

Since the killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last September, Iran’s security forces have murdered hundreds more citizens with impunity, including at least 44 children, and arrested thousands of demonstrators. These citizens are all someone’s children, siblings, friends and loved ones – and they have names. That’s why I’m sponsoring two Iranians who have been unjustly imprisoned: Mohammad Ghobadlou and Elham Modaressi. Mohammad is on death row, and could be executed any day; Elham is on hunger strike after facing food poisoning by prison guards. The families of these prisoners don’t need our empathy after their death. They want us to be concerned right now, and to do whatever we can. So that’s why we need our Government to apply every possible lever of pressure, and we need the international community to stand in solidarity. I spoke at a rally in Churchill Square, organised by the Iranian community in Brighton, earlier this month.

Outside the House of Commons with Right to Roam campaigners

Right to Roam

Public access to Dartmoor national parkland is being shamelessly rolled back, and now a tiny number of super-wealthy landowners will be paid by parkland authorities to pay them for wild camping – a practice which has been free and open for centuries. This is a flagrant commercialisation of nature, for the benefit of already super-wealthy landowner elites, and to the cost of everyone else. On the South Downs too, just 12 Dukes, Viscounts and Barons own a quarter of the entire national park. I've tabled a Right to Roam Bill in Parliament, to extend public access to grasslands, woodlands, green belt land and rivers, as well as enshrining the right to wild camp so everyone can access the benefits and joys of nature, not just the privileged few. I talked about the Dartmoor ruling on BBC Radio 4 last week.

Southern Water's sewage scandal

Last weekend I stood with XR Brighton at Brighton beach, to protest the routine dumping of raw sewage into our precious seas and waterways by privatised companies like Southern Water – which continue to put profit before people and planet. But if Southern Water is the criminal, our Government is the accomplice – as it’s just been announced that Ministers have rolled back the targets in the Environment Act, which would enforce their clean-up. If Ministers can’t even set stringent targets, what hope do we have of seeing any action?

Outside the House of Commons with Right to Roam campaigners


Last week, I voted against the reckless, costly and anti-democratic Retained EU Law Bill – an act of legislative vandalism proposed by the Government, which takes a wrecking ball to our economic, environmental & public health standards. MPs still haven't been told which specific laws are actually going to be slashed, we’ve been given no indication of the possible impact on businesses, the public and our environment, yet there are just three full-time civil service staff co-ordinating these law changes at DEFRA, one of the departments most affected. These EU laws are critical to all our lives – drinking clean water, breathing clean air, thriving nature & wildlife. Instead of saving our standards, the Government is wasting billions on a bureaucratic nightmare – I’ll continue to challenge the Bill at every stage. You can read more of my thoughts here.

Ledward Centre

From Anne Lister to Oscar Wilde, Brighton has welcomed LGBTIQA+ people for well over 200 years. So it was lovely to meet the team at the exciting new Ledward Centre in Brighton last week. Named after James Ledward, one of the city’s most inspiring and pioneering LGBTIQA+ campaigners, this space will be a lasting tribute, and an amazing community and cultural centre. Please do make a visit to Jubilee Street!

Outside the House of Commons with Right to Roam campaigners

Brighton & Hove City Council budget

Vicious Tory austerity is having a devastating effect on local authorities like Brighton & Hove, and countless others across the country. Local authority funding has been cut by over a third in real terms over the last decade, meaning the Government is forcing councils to either fund budget gaps through council tax or close down council services altogether. Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak's ‘levelling-up’ grant funding model has handed £19 million to his own leafy constituency, while Brighton & Hove’s grant bid was rejected. These pots are not only undemocraticthey pit local councils against each other and make sustainable longer-term financing strategies so much harder to set. This Government must deliver well-funded public services, run by fairly paid staff, if local authorities and the people who rely on them are to survive and thrive.

Children in asylum hotels

I’m horrified to hear reports of child asylum seekers being kidnapped from an asylum hotel in Hove. Vulnerable children are being left in legal limbo, and then reportedly abducted by criminal networks – and despite the local council and the police warning the Home Office that such instances may happen, action has been scandalously absent. I raised the issue of the Home Office’s responsibility for these children with the Home Secretary Suella Braverman in the House of Commons weeks ago, yet she refused to take any responsibility and offered a shamefully vague response. This week, I’m demanding that she come to the House to explain the situation.

Contacting Me

If you are a local resident and need help with case work or to find out more about my activities locally please do contact me at the office of: Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Media Centre 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL. Tel: 01273 201 130. Email: [email protected]


I hold regular surgeries across the constituency. If you would like to book an appointment at a forthcoming surgery please call Liz Collis on 01273 201130. She coordinates my constituency office and is able to help with most local enquiries.


If you would like to know about my parliamentary work please get in touch at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. Tel: 020 7219 7025. Email: [email protected]


You can also keep up to date with my news on:

Twitter: @carolinelucas

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