Published On: Fri, Jan 3rd, 2020

Jess Phillips announces bid to succeed Corbyn as Labour leader

JESS PHILLIPS has confirmed her bid to stand in the Labour leadership contest to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

In her announcement, the Birmingham Yardley MP managed to overlook the part she and other outspoken pro-EU colleagues played in crippling Labour’s election chances by creating a compromised please-nobody position on Brexit.

The incessant Corbyn critic declared that Labour could win a general election with a “different type of leader” and suggested she would be the one that would have Labour regain trust of working-class voters.

Mr Corbyn is expected to hand over to a new leader at the end of March following December’s election defeat.

Ms Phillips is the third candidate formally to announce their leadership bid, alongside fellow anti-Brexiteers Clive Lewis and Emily Thornberry.

She launches her campaign today, meeting former Labour voters in the Leave-voting Bury North constituency, which the party lost to the Tories.

A video on social media in which she announces her candidacy was filmed in the North Wales constituency of Delyn, another a Leave-voting area, which Labour lost for the first time since 1987.

Others are also expected to announce their intentions soon, including shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, Corbyn ally and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.

Ms Phillips has sought confrontation with the Labour leadership since Mr Corbyn was elected. In 2015 she told him: “The day it comes 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.”

Ms Phillips failed to make good her threat to leave the party and become an independent MP if Mr Corbyn was re-elected as leader in 2016.

She attempted to boost her centrist-rebel credentials by claiming to have told shadow home secretary Diane Abbott to “fuck off” in an argument.

However, she apologised after Ms Abbott told the Guardian in a 2018 interview: “Jess Phillips never told me to ‘fuck off.’ What was extraordinary is that she made a big deal of telling people she had.”

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Friday, January 3, 2020

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