Jess Phillips 'bites the dust' as she withdraws Labour leadership bid


Jess Phillips said she is not the one to unite all parts of the movement.

Labour leader contender, Jess Philips has withdrawn from the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn.

The Birmingham Yardley MP made it through to the second round of the leadership race but said in a message to supporters that she is not the candidate to 'unite all parts of the movement'.

"The Labour Party needs to elect a candidate who can bring all parts of our movement together. And at this time, if I am honest, that candidate is not me," she said.

Ms Phillips missed the hustings organised by the GMB earlier on Tuesday, prompting speculation that her campaign was in trouble.

Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry are the remaining candidates still vying for the position.

Meanwhile, Lisa Nandy's campaign has received a major boost after she won the backing of the GMB union.

The organisation also backed Angela Rayner to be the next deputy.

Announcing its decision to endorse Ms Nandy, the union's general secretary, Tim Roache, said that she was a breath of fresh air in the debate over Labour's future. Adding that she "got the scale of the challenge" facing the party after its fourth election defeat in a row.

Sir Keir Starmer,who got the backing of Unison, the UK's largest union, and a second union, Usdaw, as well as environmental campaign group Sera has qualified to get on the ballot.

To make it to the final stage, the candidates have to secure nominations from 5% of constituency Labour parties (CLPs), or three affiliate groups - two of which must be trade unions - representing at least 5% of affiliated members.

Phillips' political career Ms Phillips began her career working for her parents' company Health Links, which specialised in running events for the health, social and environmental sectors.

In 2010, she joined Women's Aid, managing domestic abuse refuges in the West Midlands. She went back into education, attending the University of Birmingham to get a postgraduate diploma in public sector management.

Ms Phillips had been a member of the Labour Party, but left in 2005 in protest at the Iraq War. She rejoined ahead of the 2010 election and got involved in local politics, starting a campaign in King's Heath, Birmingham, to combat arson attacks on cars.

Phillips was selected from an all-women shortlist in 2013. She has served the Birmingham Yardley constituency since 2015.

She was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary(PPS) to Lucy Powell, the shadow secretary of state for education in September 2015.

In 2017 she published her first book titled Everywoman: One Woman’s Truth About Speaking The Truth.

She launched her leadership campaign shortly after the general election in December 2019.

The MP is known for being outspoken especially when it comes to sex education classes in school.

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