Katy Balls Katy Balls

Women With Balls podcast: the Jess Phillips edition

When Jess Phillips first entered parliament in 2015, she quickly made the headlines after she told Diane Abbott to ‘f— off’ when they had a disagreement over whether Jeremy Corbyn had appointed enough women to his shadow cabinet. Since then, Phillips is frequently in the news for speaking up on the political issues she cares about – recently going viral for a speech on olives in which she lambasted the government for earnings caps on immigrants.

I’m delighted to have Phillips as a guest on The Spectator‘s Women With Balls podcast. When we spoke last month, we discussed what it’s like to go viral, growing up in a political family and her perspective on class in Westminster.

The pros and cons of growing up in a political family with a father to the ‘left of Jeremy Corbyn’:

‘It’s a bit like being religious I suppose. I didn’t come from a religious background but I imagine it’s like going to church every Sunday – being brought up with a political belief system is the same as a moral belief system. What I would say is there was no choice in it – as I got older we were entitled to make our own decisions but I say that in the loosest sense as if we had voted Tory, you wouldn’t be able to admit that – it’s like you would have to come out as a Tory voter.’

Phillip’s parenting rules when it comes to her own children and politics:

‘My children saw Boris Johnson one day when we were in parliament and they were like “eww he’s a baddie” and I totally agree with them but my husband was like “no, he is a human being, we don’t behave like that”.

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