Jess Phillips made the news earlier this year after the Labour MP told Diane Abbott to ‘f— off’ during a meeting of the PLP. The comment came after Phillips attempted to take Jeremy Corbyn to task over the lack of women in senior roles in his shadow cabinet, only for Abbott to jump to his defence.
While Corbyn failed to intervene when the row between the two women escalated, it appears that some of his comrades are now fighting back. Jon Lansman — who helped manage Corbyn’s campaign before founding the hard-left Momentum group — has tweeted a link this morning to an article published on the Left Futures website he edits.
— Jon Lansman (@jonlansman) November 25, 2015
The article — by David Osland — is entitled ‘Corbynistas are not the new Nasty Party’ — and suggests that when compared with the right of Labour, Corbynistas are not ‘nasty’ at all. In fact, he suggests that MPs like Jess Phillips could be seen as the nasty ones, even raising the topic of why no one had considered whether Phillip’s altercation with Abbott could have been… racially motivated:
‘Where I work, telling a middle manager to ‘f— off’ would result in a summons from human resources pretty sharpish, with the full expectation of a resultant first written warning. And if the target of the Anglo-Saxon expletive happened to be black, the question of whether the incident had been racially motivated would at least have to be considered.
Yet somehow, when Labour MP Jess Phillips addressed Diane Abbott in precisely those terms, she escaped any sanction whatsoever, and nobody was asked to draw generalised conclusions about the political outlook of her wing of the party.’
The author hastily adds that Phillips has since apologised:
‘In fairness to Ms Phillips, she subsequently apologised, and perhaps the matter is best left there.’
Unsurprisingly the tone of the article has not gone down all that well with Phillips. She has asked in response whether the reason the website published ‘vile suggestions’ about her is that she is a working-class woman? She has also asked Lansman to meet her for a cup of tea in order to iron out their differences.
Two can play that game @leftfutures do you make vile suggestions about me because I'm a working class woman?
— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) November 25, 2015
At this rate, Mr S suspects that Phillips will need to keep a close eye on Momentum should they attempt to get involved with her local Labour branch.