First published in April 2018
Jess Phillips has strenuously denied the allegation made against her by some parliamentary colleagues.
According to a number of BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) female Labour MPs, in dramatic events today Jess Phillips, the chair of the Women’s PLP (parliamentary Labour Party), has lost the confidence of many of her colleagues, who have blamed her for the leak to the Daily Mail of highly sensitive information involving allegations of domestic abuse against a male Labour MP.
One female MP told the SKWAWKBOX she and a number of her colleagues were convinced Ms Phillips was the source of the leak and added:
She’s lost the majority of BAME MPs because of her lack of support. All from the women’s PLP WhatsApp group. Many women are very unhappy with her leadership and attitude.
Asked whether the anger over the leak was linked to the recent, groundless attacks on Jeremy Corbyn over an alleged increase in antisemitism – according to the data of a hostile campaign organisation, antisemitism among Labour supporters has fallen sharply under Corbyn’s leadership – the source went on:
There has been no due process followed. These women want a witch-hunt. It’s unprofessional and dangerous.
Several other MPs expressed outrage about the leak because it may put the accused MP’s potentially-vulnerable wife at risk, especially as the information was passed to one of the most hateful right-wing rags.
A number of women MPs are believed to have quit the women’s PLP WhatsApp group in disgust – which was reported in error by some mainstream sources as them resigning from the PLP.
Ms Phillips has been criticised for alleged ‘white feminism’ and a perceived lack of support for black women among her colleagues, such as Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who during the first half of last year received more online abuse than all Tory and SNP women MPs combined. Phillips also came under fire for her obvious delight when impressionist Jan Ravens mimicked Abbott during an episode of Robert Peston’s Sunday morning TV show.
Phillips also received flak when she was the only Labour MP to attend a private party thrown by S*n and Times owner Rupert Murdoch, at which she rubbed shoulders with the likes of the Mail’s Paul Dacre and various Tory MPs.
Whoever is responsible for the leak – and Ms Phillips has emphatically denied responsibility – it’s impossible to imagine it as anything other than a reckless attempt to damage Jeremy Corbyn in the middle of the cynical antisemitism storm.
There is a recklessness at the heart of the way in which the safety of our Jewish citizens and the integrity of the fight against genuine antisemitism have been put at risk for the sake of manufactured outrage.
Whoever the source of the leak turns out to be, that recklessness is mirrored in the cynical, callous way in which a vulnerable woman has been placed in possible danger – and the trust of women MPs shattered – by the leaking of information that was discussed confidentially among colleagues for apparent political motives.
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