Jess Phillips to warn Labour MPs they risk “irrelevance” if they pick wrong leader

Jess Phillips will warn her parliamentary Labour colleagues that they risk becoming “irrelevant” if the wrong leader is selected by the party.

Speaking at a leadership hustings in front of Labour MPs this evening, Phillips will implore her colleagues to back a candidate who is committed to winning power.


Pointing out that Labour has only won a majority in five out of 31 elections since it was created, she will say:

“I don’t want to be the Leader of the Opposition – I want to be Prime Minister. I want to be Prime Minister to change people’s lives.

“I have spent my life in one way or another working to change lives. What I have realised is that I can’t keep moving the dial slightly. We have to get power to really swing the dial and change lives. That would be radical.”

Phillips will also use her opening address to warn colleagues that the next Labour leader must be able to cut through to the public and win the argument against the Tories.

“We run the risk of being completely irrelevant for the next four years. All over the country people have busy lives, with lots of noise from one way or another,” she will argue.

“We have got to get them to hear us in the little time they give us.”

Labour MPs are currently in the process of nominating a slate candidates that will then be voted on by the party membership. Only candidates with enough MP nominations will go forward in the contest.

Let’s see whether Phillips’s intervention makes an impact.

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