Jess Phillips (left) and Dawn Butler [Composite: Evolve Politics].

Jess Phillips (left) and Dawn Butler. The former has replaced the latter as leader of the Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party – apparently for reasons that have nothing to do with their political or professional views [Composite: Evolve Politics].

This Writer admits to some confusion over the attitude of Ms Phillips (and, indeed, her high-profile supporters like JK Rowling).

Only a few weeks ago, I was subjected to a process known as ‘dogpiling’ by Ms Rowling, for daring to suggest that Ms Phillips might have an ulterior motive behind her claim to be building a ‘panic room’ due to abuse levelled against her. The MP frequently levels allegations of misogyny against her critics.

(Ms Rowling later managed to attract the same treatment for herself – a turn of events I can only take to be poetic justice.)

Now we learn that Ms Phillips is apparently quite happy to allow women to be targets – and to target them herself – as long as they are a certain kind of women.

This certainly warrants further investigation within the Labour Party. One incident – such as the confrontation with Diane Abbott – may be written off as an act of temper but it seems we are seeing a pattern.

Perhaps Ms Phillips needs to be reminded that misogyny is not permissible in any circumstances – even if the perpetrator happens to be female herself.

The leading Labour women may want to bolster their own media image by claiming they stand for all women but the reality is that they do anything but.

News broke this week that Jess Phillips has played a central role in replacing Dawn Butler as chair of of the Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party.

It appears Butler’s crime is to be seen as not being in opposition to Corbyn but there is a pattern emerging behind the behaviour of Phillips.

It was a job that Phillips has cited as a “dream” but it draws serious questions over the nature of her feminism.

Butler did not have to be ousted in such a way and the vast plethora of positions within parliament meant Phillips did not have to target one of the few women of colour who actually held any kind of influence.

While Phillips has claimed to support more women in parliament, and to champion women’s causes and representation, her political movements arguably have focused upon targeting against the women of colour within Labour.

The questions which linger over the replacing of Butler grow in strength due to the fact that Phillips had a public falling out with Diane Abbott last year, telling the now Shadow Secretary for State of Health to “f**k off”.

Trying to silence a woman of colour from political discourse is an act of misogynoir from a woman who claims to want to make louder the voice of women in politics.

Evolve Politics contacted Phillips’s office to request a clarification on whether she can assure members that the representation of women of colour would not be sacrificed at the expense of white women within Labour but a response has not been forthcoming.

Source: Jess Phillips targeting marginalised women proves it’s her own career she puts first |


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