“I would knife Jeremy Corbyn in the front” Labour MP Jess Phillips to the Guardian columnist Owen Wilson in an interview. This sentence is in all media this Monday. If the Birmingham MP criticized the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, it is not the only point of her interview.
The Birmingham MP was indeed asked about her opinion on her party and its leader and answered honestly that she did not believe Labour could success in general elections were to happen now. When asked if she would change leader she answers “I would do anything that I felt was going to make the Labour Party to win the next elections”. She is still very clear about the fact that she would support him and do her best to make him electable.
As a Birmingham MP, she considers people in her district are concerned about safety and that should give stricter answers on those topics, implying that she does not agree with the statement of Corbyn after the Paris attacks, saying that he does not agree with a “shoot-to-kill” policy.
Jess Phillips is also known for being a feminist, inside her party itself. She caused a little scandal after Corbyn won the elections arguing with Diane Abbot, a shadow Secretary, about feminism. She indeed complained, “not a single woman stood up and spoke” she said (The Independent). As Owen Wilson about her vision of feminism she answered: “It’s just I’m sick of being treated differently because I am a woman and I am sick of other people being treated differently”.
Owen Wilson also asked the woman about her first experience as an MP since she was just elected in May for the first time. She admitted than she may enjoy it but “much less than [she] thought [she] would” because Labour Party was facing hard times.
Although Jess Phillips does not support Jeremy Corbyn on all points, it would be reductive only to remember a single sentence. (She also describes him as “lovely”). The point of the interview is more to show her ambition for the Labour Party, as she says at the end and to expose her opinion on how it is now.
Twitter users are split on this interview, but some do blame Jess Phillips for her words towards the Labour leader.
She still has a few supporters though.