Man arrested after terrorising staff at office of Jess Phillips. Did they use the panic room?

Jess Phillips: Was this shot taken in her Birmingham Yardley office?

Years ago, I criticised Jess Phillips for installing a panic room in her office – on the grounds that her own poor behaviour had attracted unwanted attention to her.

I wrote that I hoped she had not demanded that the work be funded by the public purse.

Her attitude continues to put people off – as evidenced by the following response to her entirely justified criticism of Boris Johnson’s choice of language in Parliament:

Ray’s right too – she was entirely wrong to walk with dozens of other MPs to the hearing before Labour’s National Constitutional Committee that expelled anti-racism campaign Marc Wadsworth from the party on the basis of lies from her colleague Ruth Smeeth.

It is, therefore, very hard to sympathise with Ms Phillips on any level at all.

But Boris Johnson has found a way for me to do so.

As I noted above, her criticism of the language he used in the Commons chamber on September 25 was entirely justified.

He had deliberately used references to a “surrender act”, “betrayal” and “traitors” – words that appear in death threats sent to MPs.

And it seems one of the people who uses such language in his communications with MPs – or responds to it in a negative way – got the message loud and clear.


A man has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence following an incident outside the constituency office of the Labour MP Jess Phillips, in which the suspect is reported to have banged on the windows and shouted “fascist”.

Phillips, who represents Birmingham Yardley, said her staff had to be locked in the office while the man tried to smash the windows.

West Midlands police confirmed a 36-year-old man had been arrested outside the office on Yardley Road in Acocks Green, Birmingham.

Back in 2016, I wrote: “Nobody should be put in fear for their life while carrying out a job that doesn’t carry that kind of risk with it – and I would certainly suggest that being a representative of the people like an MP should not.”

My belief at the time was that Ms Phillips was overreacting to people who had themselves overreacted to her less-enlightened comments.

It seems that, three years later, Mr Johnson has proved her right after all.

Of course, if they didn’t actually use the panic room, it’s still an enormous waste of money – public or not.

Source: Man arrested outside office of Labour MP Jess Phillips | Politics | The Guardian

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5 thoughts on “Man arrested after terrorising staff at office of Jess Phillips. Did they use the panic room?

  1. timfrom

    Jess Phillips is a fine one to bemoan the violent language currently being used in Parliament. She made an early contribution to the trend in 2015 when, in response to talk of Labour MPs back-stabbing Jeremy Corbyn, she proudly proclaimed she’d oh-so-bravely knife him “in the front”.

    Perhaps, instead of demanding that Boris Johnson should apologise, it would behoove her to first apologise publicly to Mr Corbyn. Or else shut her big, fat, hypocrite mouth.

    1. trev

      Yes she did say that, hardly a thing to joke about when people are getting knifed all over the country, she is an hypocrite.

  2. Mark C

    I completely agree with the sentiment here. I really have very little time for Jess Phillips and her ‘I’m just a working class woman made good bab’ persona. I found myself in an unimpressed minority in regards to her recent impassioned speech at the fate of those expelled from the Tory party – why so het up about the Tories when many within the Labour party have been expelled on trumped up charges that she has often supported? And I feel her ‘I don’t understand parliamentary process’ comment is, at worst a willful and calculated part of that ‘ordinary woman’ act and, at best, pure unadulterated ignorance at the job she is elected to perform. But…neither she or her staff should ever feel that their lives are in danger going about the duties of that role and Boris Johnson’s dangerous rhetoric is allowing this to happen.

  3. trev

    Obviously it must be worse for anyone in the public eye, particularly Politicians, but I think Society in general is getting pretty scary. I never go out after dark and even in the daytime you can’t assume it’s safe. I was walking through the town centre minding my own business, carrying shopping, when some drunken woman yelled at me “You stupid bastard!” for no reason whatsoever. Society is breaking down, and the Tories have made things worse, poverty and crime are on the increase whilst Policing has been cut to the bone. A few months ago I caught a man rummaging in my recycling bin and asked what he was doing, he reached into the bin and retrieved a huge knife about 14 inches long that he must have hidden there earlier. I called the cops and armed Police turned up, that all took place at about 4.30 in the afternoon on a bright sunny day with kids in the street. And I’ve lost count of the number of shootings that have taken place regularly on the streets of my neighbourhood over the last 3 or 4 years. There are stabbings in the town centre quite frequently too. The UK is a scary place.

  4. Zippi

    Indeed, nobody should be put in fear of their life for simply doing their job and there is NO excuse for ANY person to put another in that position, however, like it, or not, whether the Prime Minister says it, or not, people DO feel betrayed; this is the problem. Did the talk of treachery begin in Parliament, or was it in the media, or was it on the street?
    There is a certain hysteria that has come about. I was watching the news, earlier today and there was a report from where I thought was Brussels… then, I saw a £ondon bus; the report was coming from College Green! There were so many E.U. flags that, genuinely, I thought that it was Brussels! Before we voted to leave the E.U., I had barely seen an E.U. flag in this country. The streets, it seems, have become battle grounds.
    It is important that Parliament does not inflame what happens on our streets but equally, we have a responsibility not to stoke the fires of division. For the last 3 years and more, I have been able to have civil, even genteel discussions, with people from many nations and from both sides of the debate, about our decision to leave the E.U. so, I know that it is possible. It is understandable that people are frustrated but we are a Parliamentary democracy, which means that we should be able to use argument to persuade people, not browbeat them, or threaten them, or members of their families with acts of violence; this is the stuff of internet trolls, who, also, need to learn to play the ball and not the man.
    All of our politicians need to realise that Parliament is now – and has been for some time – broadcast so, the colourful language that might well have been used even as recently as the 1960s is no longer solely for the ears of Parliamentarians. It is not for the likes of John Major to be saying what is and what is not acceptable language to be used in the House; there is a Speaker and a Parliamentary Standards Committee. It is for Parliament to decide what is and what is not appropriate, to set the standards and abide by them. Interventions, such as by John Major, do nothing to calm the situation but add to the sense of obstruction and interference.
    The Prime Minister needs to be a statesman and apologise for his part in last even’s pandemonium; literally, all of the demons. He needs to be the bigger person. He is the Prime Minister. He is a man of words and has a exceptional vocabulary; perhaps, it is time that he put it to use and left the language of the street in the street. He could do worse than to take a leaf from Speaker Bercow’s book; forceful yet respectful and ever eloquent. We may not always agree with him but one cannot fault his discourse; in that regard, he is probably the only member of the House who is beyond reproach.

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