Page 2 | Webchat with Labour leadership contender Jess Phillips MP on Monday January 20 at 1pm

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BojanaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 17-Jan-20 09:10:40


We’re pleased to announce a webchat with Labour leadership contender Jess Phillips MP on Monday 20 January at 1pm.

Jess Phillips is Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley. Prior to being elected she worked for Women’s Aid, supporting victims of domestic violence. Her campaign says she is often described as the most “outspoken politician at Westminster”, having led campaigns against school cuts, immigration rights and better funding for women’s refuges.

In advance of her coming in, Jess has asked us to pass on the following: “if you share the aims and values of the Labour Party, you can have a vote on who should be Labour's next Leader if you join the Party by 5pm on Monday 20 January. You can join here and if you do it by 5pm on Monday you WILL have a vote in the contest. Find out more here.”

Please do join the chat on Monday at 1pm or if you can’t make it, leave a question here in advance.

We've invited and are hoping to have all of the contenders on over the next few weeks.

As always, please remember our webchat guidelines - one question per user, follow-ups only if there’s time and most questions have been answered, and please keep it civil. Also if one topic is dominating a thread, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. (And we’ll suspend the accounts of anyone who continues after we've posted to ask people to stop, so please take note.) Rest assured we will ALWAYS let the guest know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Many thanks,

OP’s posts: |
TresDesolee Fri 17-Jan-20 17:39:12

Hi Jess

I’m a big fan, have been since you entered Parliament.

You seemed to touch the ‘third rail’ a couple of weeks ago when you said you’d like to return to the EU. Then it felt like you had to row back hard.

Is this an issue where ‘speaking truth’ is something you can’t do? Is building a reputation for unalloyed honesty a strategic mis-step if running for major office?

ThinEndoftheWedge Fri 17-Jan-20 18:02:49

Hi Jess, do you agree with the famous quote often attributed to Voltaire:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” ...?

If elected leader, how will you ensure freedom of speech in the Labour party and in society in general?

ArabellaDoreenFig Fri 17-Jan-20 18:04:33


Do you think Labour needs to address why so many people who traditionally would have voted Labour can no longer do so?

notaflyingmonkey Fri 17-Jan-20 18:17:28

Do you regret stabbing Jeremy Coybyn in the back at all, or do you think that it's fair game for an MP to do that to the Leader?

KarenIngalaSmith Fri 17-Jan-20 18:22:43

In the light of learning about the level of racist and misogynistic abuse that Diane Abbott is subjected to, do you regret telling her to fuck off? What have you done to make amends?

AmazingAardvark Fri 17-Jan-20 18:26:01

What made you decide to stand in this leadership contest?

Ronnie27 Fri 17-Jan-20 18:32:17

Just want to say I 100% agree with you on Jamie Wallis.

WeBuiltCisCityOnSexistRoles Fri 17-Jan-20 18:37:08

Jess Philips can I ask how you feel about the principles in general of NoDebate and de platforming etc of people? This is a topic currently in the news and this week you said "questions are fine" in an interview. Your comment was in response to the interviewer saying "questions are fine, concerns are prejudiced". Do you agree that concerns are always prejudiced and shouldn't be raised, or do you believe that concerns should always be expressed, especially if large numbers of a particular group share concerns about an issue that affects them directly?

QuentinWinters Fri 17-Jan-20 18:38:30

Hi Jess,
I believe that a key contributing factor to a rise in sexual assaults and abuse is the widespread availability of porn that depicts the demeaning, degradation and abuse of women. I also think this is causing it to be harder to convict rapists (as juries think some women like this treatment). There is starting to be evidence that porn use damages teenage boys sex drives leading to erectile dysfunction and unsatisfying "real life" encounters.
Porn can also be a gateway into normalising images of child sexual abuse.
What will you do as leader of the labour party to tackle this issue?

SonicVersusGynaephobia Fri 17-Jan-20 18:45:13

Hi Jess, watched your interview about prostitution and was pleased to see you are holding firm on protecting vulnerable women with the nordic model. I find the push for punters to be decriminalised too to be very alarming and very transparent as

Would you say you can see a link between the push for it to be legal for women's bodies to be commercially available to men for sex, and the push for women's bodies to be commercially available for surrogacy? Both of which would most commonly result in a vulnerable woman with few or no options being exploited in a way which damages her health?

SonicVersusGynaephobia Fri 17-Jan-20 18:55:05

Excellent question, Quentin.

JanuaryIsNotTheOnlyMonth Fri 17-Jan-20 18:57:06

Hi Jess,
Do you read Mumsnet? If so, what have you learnt and how might it inform your leadership?

If not, do you think it’s time you started?

Ereshkigal Fri 17-Jan-20 19:03:15

Great question, WeBuilt

I'd like to hear Jess's response to that too.

youknowitmakessensedunnit Fri 17-Jan-20 19:08:02

Jess Phillips commented prior to the election that some children including her own son were only going to school 4 and a half days a week due to austerity, the root cause of which was the previous Labour government bringing the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

Is she therefore glad that her party didnt win the election in December? After all, if Labour won schoolchildren would only be attending school 4 days a week... and the country would be bankrupted within months of them getting into power.

Free broadband for everyone, a policy by itself that would have cost more than the primary and secondary school budgets for the entire country, jokers.

CoolCarrie Fri 17-Jan-20 19:16:19

Jess, what are you planning to do, as an MP or Labour leader, to protect women’s rights in the future?

exLtEveDallas Fri 17-Jan-20 19:17:02

Hello Jess.

Alongside hundreds of other women, I consider myself Politically Homeless. In December I felt I had no choice but to spoil my vote as there wasn’t a single political party that I could vote for. I was previously a Labour Party member but resigned in disgust a couple of years ago #LabourLosingWomen. This Christmas l was the closest I have ever been (in 20-odd years) to voting Conservative!

How would you persuade someone like me back to Labour?

I hate feeling like this; it actually causes me distress and makes me ashamed in front of my daughters. But how do I vote for any party that doesn’t care for women?

GhostsToMonsoon Fri 17-Jan-20 19:25:50

Hi Jess, I admire many aspects of your work but am disappointed that you are favour of airport expansion, notably the third runway at Heathrow. How can this be justified in light of the ambitious climate policies that were in Labour's manifesto? Then there's the impact on residents and natural habitats in the area. HS2, which you also support, will result in the loss or damage of 108 ancient woodlands, a precious and rare habitat that can't just be replaced by planting a few saplings elsewhere.

Aesopfable Fri 17-Jan-20 19:30:40


What is your opinion of extrajudicial punishment/policing? Do you agree with police effectively criminalising people without evidence or due process when those people have not broken any law (For example through the use of C5 notices regarding sexual behaviour, or recording of hate incidents)?

LumpySpacedPrincess Fri 17-Jan-20 19:36:33

I second @exLtEveDallas post and could have written it myself. I went from Labour Party member to close to voting tory. I have never felt so let down by a political party. The misogyny in the party has become extreme and it appears to be cheered on and rarely condemned.

What will you do to support women and girls going forward. To protect them, to make sure their sex is represented and their voices heard?

anguilla Fri 17-Jan-20 19:55:06

The defining issue for my children's generation is likely to be climate change. Given that the only environmental legislation we have with any teeth comes from Europe and has the ECJ to ensure it is enforced, how will you ensure it isn't dropped as 'red tape' and how will you ensure it continues to be enforced?

What practical and realistic measures will you push for to reduce our carbon footprint and adapt to climate change?

I read the environment bits in the manifesto. The phrase 'cloud cuckoo land' came to mind.

BackOnceAgainWithATinselHalo Fri 17-Jan-20 20:02:04

Jess, a lot of politicians, including many in your own party, shut down discussion about immigration as racism. When last in power, labour sought to limit FE (further education) hugely and have a policy of filling the gaps with workers from abroad. This has left many people with few options if they don’t want to move away from their home towns for ever. How would you address this issue and ensure that labour education policy doesn’t just become ‘scrap what the tories did’? How would you build on the new apprenticeships and T-levels and bring about a new future for FE?

Also, I second quentinwinters question.

jakeyboy1 Fri 17-Jan-20 20:03:17

As a Brummie how will you support the midlands and avoid London centric policies? Our public transport is a disgrace and yet BCC are intent on penalising the motorist, this may work in London but we simply do not have the infrastructure here to cope. HS2 is still in debate and wasting time. The new "super hospital" has not been finished. Several schools cutting back to 4.5 day weeks. Subventions for major events for Birmingham which is an event city on which 29,000 jobs depend all but gone (commonwealth aside). I think some attention to the back yard would be in order.

traceyracer Fri 17-Jan-20 20:11:47

I have a child with autism but the amount of care from Social Work/care packages is so limited because they don't have enough funding to employ the staff they need. They keep getting budget cuts. Why are there so many budget cuts which affect vulnerable people who need more help? Can anything be done to help this?

Qcng Fri 17-Jan-20 20:23:30

Hi Jess, what was your role at Women's Aid, was it administrative or hands on?

jellyjellyinmybelly Fri 17-Jan-20 20:31:30

What do you think of NHS waiting targets? Would you strengthen them or weaken them?

Ps I think you're exactly what labour needs and I'm supporting you all the way. Never stop your straight talking common sense, no matter how many critics there are.

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