Jessica Rose Trainor|
9 October 1981
Jess Phillips (born 9 October 1981) is a British Labour Party politician who became the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Birmingham Yardley in the 2015 General Election, and was re-elected in June 2017. She is a vocal critic of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Defeating the Lib Dems
Jess Phillips was selected to contest Birmingham Yardley in June 2013, a constituency at the time represented by John Hemming of the Liberal Democrats who at the 2010 election held the seat with a 3,002 majority. For the 2015 General Election, Labour required a swing of 3.7% to take the seat, and after a swing of 11.7% Phillips achieved a majority of 6,595 or 16% of votes cast. She made her maiden speech on 28 May 2015, highlighting the issue of homelessness.
Clash with Diane Abbott
Jess Phillips verbally clashed with fellow MP Diane Abbott on 14 September 2015 over the gender composition of Jeremy Corbyn's first Shadow Cabinet. After she asked Corbyn why he had failed to appoint a woman to shadow the great offices of state, Abbott accused her of being "sanctimonious" and pointed out that Phillips was "not the only feminist in the Parliamentary Labour Party". Corbyn did not intervene. Owen Bennett wrote in The Huffington Post that Phillips recounted: "'I roundly told her to fuck off.' When asked what Ms Abbott did after that suggestion, Ms Phillips replied: 'She fucked off'."
In October 2015, Jess Phillips caused controversy by mocking Philip Davies MP for trying to get a debate about International Men's Day. Phillips said "You’ll have to excuse me for laughing. As the only woman on this committee, it seems like every day to me is International Men’s Day." Following her objections, Phillips was subjected to rape threats on social media. Phillips said she did not attend the debate in November to avoid her clash with Davies becoming the dominant issue.
Knifing Jeremy Corbyn
Jess Phillips reported to Owen Jones in December 2015 that she had told Jeremy Corbyn and his staff "to their faces: 'The day that ... you are hurting us more than you are helping us, I won't knife you in the back, I'll knife you in the front', if it looked as though he was damaging Labour's chances of winning the next general election." Responding to criticism about her use of language, Phillips said on Twitter:
- "I am no more going to actually knife Jeremy Corbyn than I am actually a breath of fresh air, or a pain in the arse".
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- "Birmingham Yardley Parliamentary constituency". BBC News Online. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
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- "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 28 May 2015 (pt 0003)". Hansard.
- Neil Elkes (14 May 2015). "New Yardley MP backs Yvette Cooper for Labour leadership". Birmingham Mail.
- "Who nominated who in the 2015 Labour deputy leadership election?". New Statesman. 17 June 2015.
- "Jeremy Corbyn appoints Steve Rotheram as his Parliamentary aide". The Huffington Post UK. 30 September 2015.
- Dathan, Matt (15 September 2016). "Labour MP Jess Phillips told Diane Abbott to 'f*** off' in Jeremy Corbyn sexism row". The Independent. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- Bennett, Owen (17 September 2015). "Labour MP Jess Phillips: I Told Diane Abbott To F*ck Off During Feminism Row". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- Wheeler, Brian (19 November 2015). "Guide to International Men's Day". Retrieved 25 November 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Labour MP Jess Phillips targeted by trolls after scoffing at men's rights debate request". ITV News. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Philip Davies MP: 'Political correctness is damaging men'". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- Dathan, Matt (11 November 2015). "Tory MP wins battle for International Men's Day debate in Parliament". The Independent. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- Perraudin, Frances (30 October 2015). "MPs rally in support of colleague subjected to rape threats". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Labour MP Jess Phillips targeted by trolls after scoffing at men's rights debate request". ITV News.
- Phillips, Jess (19 November 2015). "We need International Men's Day about as much as white history month, or able body action day". The Independent. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- Perraudin, Frances (14 December 2015). "Labour MP Jess Phillips will 'knife Corbyn in the front' if he damages party". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- "I would knife Jeremy Corbyn in the front not the back" Owen Jones meets Jess Phillips