There has been a lot of debate about the future of the Labour Party in the last few days, with some people rushing to anoint Rebecca Long-Bailey as the new party leader.
However, after such a bruising election defeat last week – the party’s worst performance since 1935 – swiftly selecting Jeremy Corbyn’s preferred candidate would seem like a massive misjudgement.
Indeed, there’s evidence to suggest Jess Phillips should be seriously considered as a candidate (if she runs, as expected) who can win back voters in the Midlands and North, while holding Boris Johnson’s feet to the fire on Brexit.
Yesterday, some data was released by Labour activist Nye Michael. His graph plots the performance of Labour in heavily pro-Leave seats since the 2015 general election.
Posting his data on Twitter, Michael said: “Looks like when it comes to winning over Leave voters, the rest of Labour has a lot to learn from the MP for Birmingham Yardley.”
That MP is Jess Phillips.
As the graph shows, Phillips has increased her majority since 2015 by nearly 15% – comfortably the best performance of any Labour MP in a pro-Leave seat.
Phillips has achieved this, despite the fact she is one of the most fiercely anti-Brexit MPs in the Labour Party.
You might not agree with Phillips on everything, but she has pulled off something remarkable in her own constituency, and she deserves a prominent voice in the Labour leadership election.