A ‘car crash’ interview shows exactly why Jess Phillips is unfit to be Labour leader
On 5 January, Jess Phillips appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show to discuss her candidacy for the Labour leadership position. And despite admitting that Brexit was one of the things that contributed to Labour’s loss, she’s still apparently committed to arguing for re-entry to the EU:
“If our country is safer, if it is more economically viable to be in the EU, then I will fight for that regardless of how difficult that argument is to make”
Labour leadership candidate Jess Phillips on her EU policy#Marr https://t.co/oqs9t2X72N pic.twitter.com/msRj2BlVRQ
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) January 5, 2020
Not only did most UK voters choose to leave the EU in June 2016, but the general election on 12 December 2019 was dominated by Brexit. And it was a landslide victory for a clearly pro-Brexit party. In short, it’s important to a significant number of British people. So it’s unclear why someone who wants to be Labour Party leader and prime minister would apparently argue to re-join the EU.
While introducing the interview, Marr labelled Phillips as “one of the most charismatic MPs in parliament”. But this didn’t cut any ice with people online. One person, for example, thought Phillips’s ‘re-join’ position would “infuriate” people further:
Poor leadership PR qualities from Jess after an election that’s less than a month old that gave the Conservatives a majority of 80? based on Johnson’s ‘get brexit done’; leave voters won’t trust Jess’s labour she will infuriate them further.https://t.co/7ieGk7mDtF
— Lisette Granados (@LisetteinDevon) January 6, 2020
And Labour councillor Seema Chandwani was much more to the point:
This was a car-crash!! 😩 #Marr pic.twitter.com/5FvQFIvkzu
— Seema Chandwani™️ (@SeemaChandwani) January 5, 2020
So too was fellow councillor John Edwards:
Catastrophe on day one: Naive, inexperienced and arrogant.
If we want to go to hell in a handcart here’s the driver.https://t.co/wkbv6J64CJ
— Cllr John Edwards (@JohnEdwards33) January 5, 2020
Time to get real
If Labour is to build a fairer society for the UK, then all leaders need to show they’re listening to its people. So while it’s valid for any candidate to personally believe the best place for the UK is within the EU, they mustn’t let that belief override the wishes of the British people.
Phillips talked about ‘listening’ to the British people. Yet her Brexit position in this interview somewhat belies this. Arguing for Remain when British people chose Leave and punished Labour for not honouring the referendum result in the last election shows a distinct lack of leadership and an unsuitability for public office.
Featured image via Twitter screengrab
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.
Leave a ReplyYou must be logged in to leave a comment.Join the conversation
Please read our comment moderation policy here.