Jess Michaels Biography & Facts
Jessica Rose Phillips (née Trainor; born 9 October 1981) is a British politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Yardley since 2015. A member of the Labour Party, she has been Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding in Keir Starmer's Opposition frontbench since 2020.
Phillips was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Lucy Powell, the Shadow Education Secretary, in 2015. A vocal critic of the former Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, Phillips resigned as a PPS in protest over Corbyn's leadership and said she would "find it incredibly difficult" to continue as an MP if Corbyn was re-elected as Labour leader. She supported Owen Smith in the failed attempt to replace Corbyn in the 2016 leadership election. Phillips was a candidate for Labour leader in the 2020 leadership election but withdrew from the later stages of the contest.
Early life and career
Jessica Rose Phillips was born Jessica Rose Trainor on 9 October 1981 in Birmingham, West Midlands. The youngest of four children, Phillips is the daughter of Stewart Trainor, a teacher, and Jean Trainor (née Mackay), an NHS administrator who rose to become deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation and chair of South Birmingham Mental Health Trust. They were politically active: "Growing up with my father was like growing up with Jeremy Corbyn" she told Rachel Cooke of The Observer in March 2016. Phillips went to King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, a local grammar school. Her childhood ambition was to become Prime Minister.Phillips studied economic and social history and social policy at the University of Leeds from 2000 to 2003. She has said she marched in protest against the Iraq War. From 2011 to 2013, she studied for a postgraduate diploma in public sector management at the University of Birmingham.Phillips worked for a period for her parents at their company, Healthlinks Event Management Services. From 2010 onwards, Phillips worked for the Women's Aid Federation of England as a business development manager, responsible for managing refuges for victims of domestic abuse in Sandwell in the West Midlands.Phillips left the Labour Party during the years of Tony Blair's leadership, rejoining after the 2010 general election. Her period at Women's Aid as an administrator made Phillips "utterly pragmatic... I learned that my principles don't matter as much as [people's] lives." In the 2012 local elections, she was elected as a Labour councillor for the Longbridge ward, taking the seat from the Conservatives. She was then appointed as the victims' champion at Birmingham City Council, lobbying police and criminal justice organisations on behalf of victims. She also served on the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel.
Positions and party issues
Phillips verbally clashed with fellow Labour MP Diane Abbott on 14 September 2015 over the gender composition of Jeremy Corbyn's first Shadow Cabinet. After she asked Corbyn why he had failed to appoint a woman to shadow the great offices of state, Abbott accused her of being "sanctimonious" and said that Phillips was "not the only feminist in the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party)." Corbyn did not intervene. Owen Bennett wrote in The Huffington Post that Phillips recounted: "I roundly told her to fuck off." When asked what Ms Abbott did after that suggestion, Ms Phillips replied: "She fucked off." According to Diane Abbott in a January 2018 Guardian interview: "Jess Phillips never told me to fuck off. What was extraordinary is that she made a big deal of telling people she had." Phillips later apologised.Phillips told Owen Jones in December 2015 that she had told Corbyn and his staff "to their faces: "The day that ... you are hurting us more than you are helping us, I won't knife you in the back, I'll knife you in the front," if it looked as though he was damaging Labour's chances of winning the next general election. Responding to criticism about her use of language, Phillips said on Twitter: "I am no more going to actually knife Jeremy Corbyn than I am actually a breath of fresh air, or a pain in the arse."Phillips has commented that the "British Pakistani-Bangladeshi community" have "issues about women's roles in a family, in society" and were importing "wives for their disabled sons."She is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.
Gender and sexual issues
In October 2015, Phillips caused social media outrage after she mocked the Conservative MP Philip Davies for trying to get a debate about International Men's Day. He cited men's issues like increasing male suicides, lower life expectancy relative to women, male victims of domestic violence, low educational achievement by working class white boys and male experience of child custody cases. Phillips openly laughed and pulled faces while Davies spoke, and then stated that: "You’ll have to excuse me for laughing. As the only woman on this committee, it seems like every day to me is International Men’s Day." Davies responded by stating that, "If a male MP had reacted in that way about the need for debate on International Women's Day, there would have been hell to pay. It's entirely possible you'd be removed from Chambers or have the Whip removed. I'm surprised she finds that a laughing matter." Colleagues from both leading parties agreed with Davies, and permission for a debate in Westminster Hall on the matter was eventually granted. She wrote in The Independent: "I commend Philip Davies for changing the thrust of the debate to focus on male suicide – but in and of itself this day serves no useful function".In January 2016, Phillips said on Question Time that events akin to the mass sexual assaults in Cologne happened every week on Birmingham's Broad Street. She insisted any "patriarchal culture" must be challenged, but the UK should not "rest on its laurels" when two women are murdered every week. In response to criticism she told the Birmingham Mail: "This isn't something that refugees have brought into our country. This is something that's always existed". Journalist Joan Smith criticised these remarks and asked Phillips to admit she was wrong.Phillips criticised the gender makeup of Labour's Shadow Cabinet reshuffle in January 2016.In March 2021, following the murder of Sarah Everard, Phillips read out the names of all women killed in the previous year where a man was subsequently convicted. She said "killed women are not vanishingly rare, killed women are common".Philips' feminist stance has also been accused of excluding trans communities, though this characterization is disputed, and some feminist organisations have raised concerns over her support for the Nordic model for sex work.
Phillips is frequently targeted for abuse by anonymous users on social media. In 2015, she was subjected to rape threats on social media following her objections to International Men's Day. In May 2016, after campaigning against online bull.... Discover the Jess Michaels popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Jess Michaels books.