Labour's Jess Phillips received '600 rape and death threats in a single day'

There was nothing in common with those threatening her online other than them being men, said the MP for Birmingham Yardley

Sally Hayden
Sunday 27 August 2017 16:31 BST
Jess Phillips says she is attacked by people on all sides of the political spectrum
Jess Phillips says she is attacked by people on all sides of the political spectrum

A Labour MP has called for increased support and training for women in public life after revealing she received 600 rape threats in a single day last year.

Speaking to The Independent, Jess Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley since 2015, said there was nothing in common with those threatening her ”other than them being men”.

“It’s left, right, middle, British, foreign, etc,” she said.

Ms Phillips, who is chair of the women’s parliamentary Labour Party, added that training would be helpful for women in her position.

Specifically, she thinks it should look at the best ways to report threats, what counts as harassment, and what’s illegal, and examine different approaches for fighting back or not.

Ms Phillips made it clear that the deluge of threats she received last year were not related to her accusing the Labour Party of sexism, as has been reported by other media outlets.

In a separate interview with The Times, Ms Phillips – who has more than 62,000 Twitter followers – said she has put her settings at “peak block, peak mute” so she doesn’t see mentions of rape anymore.

However, other abuse continues. Last week, Ms Phillips said her timeline was filled with “men telling me I didn’t understand sexism, that I deserved it, that I was fat, ugly, that I was probably on my period” after she insulted “left-wing men”.

When it comes to sexism, Ms Phillips also said it’s easier to counter right-wingers than members of her own party.

She added: “It’s much harder when people think they are the ‘goodies’. If they’re accused of sexism, [they] compare me to other women they love. And these are always women who support their man.”

She has previously called left wing men the “absolute worst” sexists.

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