Analysis comment

Phillips attacks Tories with second jobs. Here are her own extra-parliamentary activities

Not to mention chumminess with certain Tories and press barons

Jess Phillips, speaking in the Commons debate today

“There’s one rule for the people in our country & there’s seemingly another rule for enormous friendly companies who are willing to pay the people in here.”

These were the words of right-wing Labour MP Jess Phillips in the Commons today during a debate on parliamentary standards. Let’s take a look at her own record of extra-parliamentary employment, along with donations from ‘enormous friendly companies’, including large payments from the Murdoch press empire (she has been an invitee to Murdoch’s parties), the Tory Telegraph and a property developer:

And Ms Phillips also has a record of closeness to some of the same Tories she is now criticising. She famously enthused about arch-Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg:

In her £333 per hour job as deputy editor of parliamentary magazine ‘The House’, she worked closely with Tory 1922 Committee chair Sir Graham Brady – and had an ‘£8,000 a year sideline’ working for Tory peer Lord Ashcroft, as reported by Solomon Hughes in the Morning Star in an article titled ‘Moonlighting MPs bring Parliament into disrepute’.

And from 2015 to 2019, she employed her own husband as a ‘support assistant’, further bolstering the Phillips household income from the public purse.

Interesting, then, to hear her criticisms now of Tory MPs and their own ‘sidelines’.

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  1. Combination of sitting in glasshouse, and not throwing bricks come to mind. What a hypocrit she is.

    1. The Guardian has produced a list of 30 MPs who would be affected by a ban on consultancy jobs. I’m no fan of Jess but she doesn’t come anywhere near making the list.
      “More than 30 MPs could be affected if they are barred from taking up positions as consultants or advisers outside their parliamentary work, as is under consideration by the standards committee.

      1. You’re misunderstanding people’s untense dislike and distrust of Jess Phillips. It’s not because she’s a ‘consultant’

      2. If they want to Labour members in her constituency will soon have the opportunity to oust her. They just need the numbers.
        The Labour Party plans to hold trigger ballots for MPs starting next week and concluding in June 2022 according to a new paper that will soon be considered by members of the ruling national executive committee, LabourList can reveal.

      3. It’s not because she’s a ‘consultant’

        What’s the difference between mouthpiece phillips and a consultant?


      4. Steve H … “The boy 👦 who misssed the point” ..ITs not just the amounts of money its the second job and the influence that outside bodys “have mr Hall centrist Dad and the deserting of the full time job well paid with eye watering expenses for the sake of carving out a nice little earner.I know the concept of not cheating is difficult for you especially to understand and the ridiculous expenses. but you need to understand that a full time job is the least we can expect even with all the holidays they get.Steve H you need to take a good hard look at yourself in supporting corruption such as those who follow the Tory chums or better still join them.yourself.

      5. Says he knowing the local machine is fully behind Phillips. The whole thing about corruption is to get rid of, not only open bribery, but also cronyism and nepotism. There are plenty of West Midlands branches that need clearing out, there are plenty in many other places, Croydon’s another example, it reaches from the council upwards.
        There has to be a way of choosing candidates that includes the wishes of the membership. Anything else risks cronyism.

      6. From the article you linked to: “local parties can force a full selection process in a Labour-held seat only if a majority of local party and affiliate branches vote to ‘trigger’ such a contest.”

        There’s the rub. Such a system encourages cronyism just like we saw in Watson’s fiefdom.

      7. It makes you wonder why Ms Phillips doesn’t hold up the least corrupt politician as an example of honourable behaviour……Jeremy Corbyn.

  2. The caption says it all..,Shes stuffed herself and drunk herself dry.Some like Blair thrive in parliament,she philips clearly struggles and realises that making a noise even amongst these people in parliament doesn’t work anymore because outrageous behaviour is the norm for a member of the PLP.

  3. This foul mouthed woman Jess Phillips effs and blinds and talked about stabbing Jeremy Corbyn in the front. She then had the nerve to criticise Boris Johnson in parliament for his disgraceful language . Two Tories then reminded her of her own use of language and she (and by extension the party) were exposed as hypocrites ( on permanent record in Hansard) – apparently she thinks its Ok for her to use violent obscene language but nobody else should. I watched it on TV’ It was totally embarrassing.
    Now she is at it again letting herself and the party down by her double standards. Again its OK for her to write books and articles for the MSM , do TV appearances, employ her husband as her office manager etc while condemning others for their extra curricular activities. But then what else can you expect from her – she ducked out of chairing a meeting of the Womens PLP to rub shoulders with the dregs of society at Rupert Murdocks Christmas party a few years ago. Says it all really.
    Until Jess learns how to behave herself and live within her very generous MPs salary she shouldn’t criticise others – people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    1. Jess stab in front Phillips has a range of double standards. She was also seen laughing at a nasty so called comedian who was trying to imitate Diane Abbott’s voice … She is a typical right wing so called Labour MP who is using the Labour party for her own self promotion.

      1. You are right Ian Her record with Diane is disgraceful. While she and other women in the PLP were falling over themselves to support the BBC’s Laura Kusenberg and giving escorting Ruth Smeeth following her antisemitism allegations against Marc Wadsworth neither she nor of them offered one word of support to Diane who received more on line abuse than the rest of the PLP put together. Indeed as well as the incident you refer too Jess also mocked Diane on TV She said she told Diane to F**K off and when asked how Diane responded she said amid laughter “She F**ked off”
        It was these kind of incidents which caused the Womens PLP to call her a “white feminist” ie she is willing to support white women who are harassed etc but not black women in the same position. This was all reported in Skwawkbox at the time ( 2016 approx).
        She is a total disgrace and I hope the people of Yardley realise this at the next election

    2. The bottom line here is the application of double standards and selective sectarian application and gerrymandering of the rules to suit gang style political convenience.

      The new confidentiality rules – reprinted here:

      effectively give carte blanche, with no checks or balances or reciprocal rights, to the hierarchy and bureaucracy to self regulate their own use of such data at their own convenience.

      Similarly, if a member not part of this sectarian group were to bring the Party into disrepute in the way in which Phillips among others do their feet would not touch the ground.

      You would also get a response from this siite’s resident Jonah and village idiot inviting you to submit a complaint despite having been provided with sufficient evidence of how such complaints are gerrymandered to suit sectarian political convenience. A situation he clearly supports, conveying his role as a bad faith actor and part of the problem rather than the solution.

  4. ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive,’ Unless, of course, you’re a friend of Murdoch, work extensively for the BBC, Guardian, Independent, etc., and are “acceptable” to the powers that be, then it’s a piece of piss.

    Thanks Skwawkie – we’d never have the chance to read that anywhere else.

      1. “Anyone can take a look at MP’s donations and financial interests …”

        2 things stevieh:

        i) 45,000 Labour party former members might each individually decide to look up an MP’s admitted financial interest at the very same moment of the very same day, but there is no ‘communal purpose’, no ‘combined action’, no actionable purpose in that activity. When SW does it and publishes his findings here, then the activity is imbued with purpose and with meaning, with value and it becomes a more ‘political’ analysis, a threat to affected parties (like Starmer, or Evans or the ptb billionaires). The (say) 45,000 people who read it there know they are part of something bigger than their own individuality.

        ii) The billionaire-interests that operate the MSM know this and you know this as it sometimes looks like it’s why you are here – to “confound our knavish tricks” and make sure we don’t actually take ourselves too seriously.

  5. Stealing and deceiving the public should be a criminal offence,but if it was enforced the whole House of Horrors would be banged up with Doris as well and her paedophile offspring.

    1. foggy brain here maybe joseph, but who’s Doris? Only person that occurs to me as possible candidate is Brenda, hmq

      1. querboi its a nickname here fromr our Aussie mates who like me have little respect for her Tallness HRH or her offspring.They love the Angkor beers at fifty cents so they become increasingly inventive with names.I cannot afford to say what they think of the Official opposition.without F and blinding.Pensions are the big issue at the moment in the expat community.

  6. Im not a big fan of Phillips, but, apart from the sponsors of the China trip (which affects ALL the participants), it’s not that bad. Unlike other MPs getting paid for “consultancy of parliamentary matters” or those finding 70 hours of free time to work 2nd jobs, she actually produces columns at the rate one would expect for star columnists (around £100/hr) and the expected rates to appear on TV as a pundit.

    To me, this all looks legit.

    Still can’t stand her though.

    1. Diane Abbot regularly pens columns for the Independent, the Morning Star and sometimes the Guardian. I’d bet she gets about the same rates (£200-£300 per column). Yet, Diane Abbot is one of the most principled MP out there.

      Again, I see nothing wrong about writing articles and making paid media appearances at the normal rate.

      If you want to attack them, attack the *content* of their articles.

      1. At the time Dianne needed the extra money to send her kids to a private school as the education in her constituency wasn’t good enough.for her kids. aYes Ben you go along with it and crack on with supporting corruption which is clearly what it is when a second job is taken that provides a extra income This is the reason why the party of the broad church brigade is in freefall and its not just down to the parasite knight and Evans its down to the members that cant see it.and voted for a clown of the establishment.We expect so very little from the people we provided with a good living,and they spit in our faces with “paid” second jobs.

      2. Ben I agree wholeheartedly that Diane Abbott is one of the most principled MPs in parliament. She is a very decent woman who has been much maligned but the same standards must apply to everybody- left right or so called centre.
        MPs get enough money in salary and expenses to have a really good life and if it isn’t enough for them then they should look for a better paying job elsewhere.
        To most of us many MPs seem just plain greedy and of course they are protected from the reality of food banks, zero hours contracts, benefit sanctions and grinding poverty that are the lot of millions in 21st century Britain. Too many seek to look after themselves rather than the people who put them into parliament. This needs to change and soon.

      3. Smartboy: totally agree. But in the case of appearing as pundit and writing columns, it looks like exactly the job a politician should be doing. Politics is all about convincing others, so a politician really need to put their view out there. As for being paid for it, if it’s in line with what other columnists / pundits get paid for, no problem with it. Depending how much research she does, £250 is like 16 hours at a rate of £15/hour. And I know that if you’re asked to write a weekly column, it takes more than the 2 hours she charged if you take into consideration all the little minutes one would spend thinking about it throughout the week.

      4. Joseph: the job of a politician is to convince, to set a vision. Writing articles, appearing on telly *is* the job of a politician.

        On the other hand, there’s a thing called intellectual property. Creating content for a broadcaster/media so they make a profit out of it deserves a fair pay. “Paid in exposure” is thief.

        So yeah, I see nothing wrong for a politician to go on telly, to write in papers and getting paid the normal rate for it, the same rate as those doing it for a living would get.

        It’s not in the same league as someone being paid thousands for supposedly 2 hours work to represent a business’ “interests” in Parliament. This is clear cut corruption: getting paid to influence the policy making process in favour of a private client.

      5. I understand your point Ben but I still have major reservations about politicians taking on what amounts to part time work. Taking everything into consideration I think the only way to ensure that the 2nd/3rd/4th jobs scandal is dealt with is to ban all outside earnings for MPs.

      6. Reply to Josph Okeefe
        Have you a good word to say about any Socialist MP Joseph?

  7. That will be the day that that vile woman ever impresses me! I will never vote Labour again in my life.

  8. Two things strike me about the MPs and their extra jobs.
    Firstly, a backbench MP gets around 3x the national median wage. If they can’t live happily on that, then how can they be fit to run the country.
    Secondly, in very many full-time jobs people are not allowed to take extra jobs without the employer’s permission. Lots of those who are on zero hours contracts are not even allowed to do so.
    It is clearly a case of one rule for them and another for most of the rest of us.
    But it isn’t the moral imperative that is the most concerning. It is the fact that very many on these “jobs” are simply payment for favours done or expected.
    There should be a complete ban on the practice, and on employing family members.
    And, as for Phillips, it’s a shame I read her name first thing in the morning. I hope my breakfast stays down.

      1. Thanks Nemtona and Alex Nunn for this hilarious clip.
        Starmer really is a double talking multi millionaire clown

  9. FWIW – the link to Solomon Hughes’ article that Steve Walker includes in his article is very helpful (to me, anyway) in dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s about the nepotism and cronyism that sits alongside political corruption of the type that ‘distort democracy’ and aids the right-wing in Labour. Thanks SW.

  10. “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of parliament [Phillips] ; but I repeat myself.” [M Twain]. Imagine waking up next to that, I would immediately take a header out of a 10 storey building without opening the window. She is obnoxious.

  11. Oh dear, I’m going to irritate many ‘Skwawkbox Regulars’ yet again, however may I say at the start that usually I have nothing but utter contempt for Jess Phillips, but not on this occasion. As an MP I would expect her to use every platform to promote her message, even if she gets paid as a journalist, but this is not the point as many MPs have paid consultancies used to promote interests not necessarily compatible with those of their constituents. Many MPs who are barristers, use the excuse that they have to continue to actually practice law to maintain their qualifications? The big problem is lobbying & what is acceptable practice, working for & representing the interests of private companies & organisations.

    1. Agreed but she works for a Tory publication. So, if our two party system has exactly the same ideology while (on paper) supporting different classes, we might as well be a one party state. And Mr Starmer’s Labour are also representing the interests of private companies & organisations.

      1. OK but how far do you extend that logic? I will talk to anyone who is willing to listen but all MSM is owned by billionaires & PSB controlled by gov’t. WE ARE, like USA, a one Party State, all major political parties with same policies; Neo-Liberal Global Capitalist, with precisely the same domestic & foreign policies (including Brexit). Starmer; Blair & Cameron are 3 cheeks of the same……….

      2. Fairly soon non voters will outnumber voters. Maybe that will provoke public action? Plus it looks like Scotland will leave the union at some point. It all chips away at their legitimacy.

  12. Look its simple,if the job doesn’t pay you enough at three times the average salary then bugger off.One job one massive payment and the job of an mp should leave no time for day tripping to other employers.No ifs No buts and no moonlighting for pure greed.Like the Lords,nobility,knights and Royals the second so called jobs are a insult to modern day democracy that leaves Britain little better than the fantasy land of Wizard of oz.with the munchkin men running the country.

    1. Exactly. If they are so concerned about being lawyers and labour mps then pro bond work for unions and workers could be allowed. Otherwise suck it up and scrape by on 80 grand and exes.

  13. The important point is that the media outlets paying her for writing drivel are mostly funded by advertising. What are the advertisers buying? The readers. There is a circular movement: the advertisers pay the papers, the papers do what the advertisers don’t object to, the contributors say what the papers want. It’s corrupt to the core, and of course, it excludes all those who won’t play the game. Why on earth is the New Statesman paying Phillips £400 for a book review? George Orwell would have been worth it. But Phillips? It’s a sickening merry-go-round of sycophancy and money for old cliches. Phillips can’t write. She isn’t paid because she’s got talent, but because she can be relied on to say the right things. How do we solve this? There is no answer except dismantling the current system. We need workers’ control and media in the hands of the people. That might start to look like democracy. By the way, if you want to read someone who really can write and has something to say, go to The Electronic Intifada and look up the posts by Tom Hall. The media would never pay him. He’s honest and radical.

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