Labour leadership hopeful Jess Philips speaks out against Scottish Independence and for Europe
Currently six candidates have declared their interest with regards to becoming leader of the Labour Party, and Birmingham MP Jess Phillips is one of four women in the mix.
Of course the fact that Labour has never had a female leader is something of an embarrassment to the party which considers itself as socially progressive, especially when the Tories have had both Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.
However, even though there are four women in the current race, according to the polls, and the bookies, Jess Phillips is not predicted to be a record breaker.
She has a relatively high media profile and certainly aired her opinion about Brexit on the televised debates, however on her route to the top she has outlined some opinions that may not resonate with the party, or indeed the country.
In an interview at the weekend with Andrew Marr, she was characteristically, but surprisingly, candid about her view on Brexit, even after Boris Johnson’s crushing win in December.
She has always been a fierce supporter of the Uk being in the EU and even now, she explained to Marr that if she was leader, or PM, she would still campaign in the same fashion. She explained, that “ if we are living in an absolute paradise of trade, and we’re totally safe in the world, and we’re not going to worry about having to constantly look to America for our safety and security, then maybe I’ll be proven wrong. But the reality is that if our country is safer, if it is more economically viable to be in the EU, then I will fight for that, regardless of how difficult that argument is to make.”
Her insistence is bold and uncompromising, which may well appeal to some Labour Party members, but those who lent their vote to the Tories in the North would be expected to disagree.
She has also been very bullish about a second independence referendum in Scotland, citing that she could see no circumstance where independence would offer more to Scotland than being in the Union.
Ms Phillips certainly knows her mind, although this position could well alienate the remaining Labour voters, north of the border, where the SNP have already snatched many of their supporters.
The bookies consider Jess Phillips as an outsider in the leadership race, but her clear opinions could be refreshing to some and may resonate with the membership.
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