Jess Phillips resignation letter calls on Jeremy Corbyn to 'be the socialist you say you are'

'The Labour Party is not about you, it's about the brilliant people in the UK'

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Labour MP Jess Phillips has called on Jeremy Corbyn to "be the socialist you say you are" in an unusually frank and personal resignation letter.

Ms Phillips served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the party's shadow education team but terminated her position on Monday along with a host of other Labour colleagues in a coup against the Labour leader.

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The representative for Birmingham Yardley urged him to do what was best for the British people.

She said: “I'm really worried that you cannot see that you have made this all about you and not about them. 

“Be the socialist you say you are, do the right thing and let the Labour Party be the opposition it needs to be now, when people need it most.”

Ms Phillips is known for her outspoken nature and attacked Mr Corbyn’s political methods. “Saying stuff won't cut it,” she said. “We are going to need strong heads, open flexible hearts and detailed forensic wits.”

She also criticised what she saw as the hypocrisy surrounding Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

“Writing or saying anything against you risks my job, the livelihood of my family, the threats are already rolling in,” Ms Phillips said. 

“Turns out when you stand up for what you believe you are principled, when I do it I am an opportunist, careerist, Blairite or even a Zionist plotter. 

“Funny that I am a socialist. I live my life as a socialist. I speak up regardless of the risk because I am considerably less important than the struggle.”

Underlining her position to resign, Ms Phillips, like her colleagues, cited the need for a strong opposition in order to limit the damage of the Brexit vote and prevent a more hard line Conservative takeover – many commentators suspect a snap general election is imminent.

She said: “The Labour Party is not about you, it's about us, most of all it's about them, the brilliant people in the UK, even the ones who don't agree with us. We need action, we really needed it last week the week before.”

See the letter in full below.

Dear Jeremy,

I feel a bit silly writing to resign from my position as the Parliamentary Private Secretary in your Shadow Education Team. It seems a bit grand, being as I'm sure most people don't pay the position I had any mind at all, but apparently it is what we do.

I want to thank you for, in the most part responding to me, if I had questions. You haven't had an easy ride, you remained calm throughout.

My main concern is that I'm not sure how good you are at using what people say or need to enact change. I think in this time of huge shifts the opposition must be at its strongest and its best. Saying stuff won't cut it. We are going to need strong heads, open flexible hearts and detailed forensic wits.

Writing or saying anything against you risks my job, the livelihood of my family, the threats are already rolling in. Turns out when you stand up for what you believe you are principled when I do it I am an opportunist, careerist, Blairite or even a Zionist plotter. Funny that I am a socialist. I live my life as a socialist. I speak up regardless of the risk because I am considerably less important than the struggle.

I love being the MP in Yardley, never a day goes by when my constituents don't make me smile or make me want to stay up all night fighting their corner. I'd give it up tomorrow if I thought my going would rid my constituents of a Government that leaves many of them in despair. My mom and dad taught me that socialism isn't words its action, deeds not words and all that.

The Labour Party is not about you, it's about us, most of all it's about them, the brilliant people in the UK, even the ones who don't agree with us. We need action, we really needed it last week the week before.

I'm really worried that you cannot see that you have made this all about you and not about them. Be the socialist you say you are, do the right thing and let the Labour Party be the opposition it needs to be now, when people need it most.

All the best. I know none of this has been easy on you and your loved ones. Nobody deserves some of the crap you have put up with. Sorry if I was ever to blame for any upset, perhaps sometimes I took straight talking honest politics a little too literally.

Take care.

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