Watch Jess Phillips’ emotional speech criticising the prime minister and his plans for an election
- Credit: Archant
Labour MP Jess Phillips has launched an emotional scatching attack on Boris Johnson - and Tory MPs who allowed their colleagues to be kicked out of the party.
Holding back the tears of frustration, she passionately told MPs: "I want to speak really, really plainly to say that tonight I will vote against a general election just like I would vote against anything the current prime minister put in front of me.
"I feel may say some things that are unparliamentary, and if so, please alert me to them.
"But I have absolutely no faith in anything that the current prime minister says, literally none. I wouldn't trust him - am I allowed to say that? - there's no distance I would trust him.
"Members on the other side say 'so stand in an election' - I have no fear that I would my seat in an election, absolutely none whatsoever.
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"However, the prime minister that we have at the moment is playing some bully boy game, of some bully boy at a public school that I probably wouldn't understand anymore than I understand parliamentary procedures.
"The reality is we have here is a game where we're not being told what the rules are. The prime minister could bring a deal to this house - he could tell us what his plans are for Northern Ireland, he could tell us what his plans are for trade. Yesterday I watched Conservative colleagues begging him to tell them what he wanted. Begging him. I saw colleagues begging him to say 'give us a deal to vote for'.
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"The prime minister has said 'I don't want an election' but this is some game that three men in Number 10 Downing Street have come up with to try and game the system so that they win.
"My democratic responsibility is to try and do the absolutely best for the people in my constituency, and at the moment it's not all that clear, but I am absolutely not going to use them as a chitty in a game for the prime minister to achieve the ambition that he has only ever wanted for himself and never for this country.
"I am not going to use my constituents as collateral damage.
Responding to a Tory MP, she continued: "Let's make no bones about the fact that I'm not able to be completely critical when things go wrong in my party and in the governing party. It's just a shame quite a lot of the people who know what's happened over the last two days are too cowardly to actually say to me in public what they are all saying in the tea rooms. You know what has happened over here.
"It's as if kicking out Harriet Harman, that's what it feels like. It is an abomination how your party has behaved. You've all crowed and given sympathy to me about the problems we have in the Labour Party, and you've just sat by silently while your colleagues have been marched out.
Following a further intervention, she continued: "I'm going to speak for Brenda in Bristol to explain why I think we shouldn't have a general election and why I won't vote for it, because I think we shouldn't go on conference recess, we shouldn't be proroguing parliament, because we are in a national crisis. This is not a game; this is not some toy we can play with. The British public think we should be in here doing our jobs. They think we are away from here too often anyway.
"I am appalled by the prorogation, and from now on let's call it the shutting down of parliament because I hate the word and the people outside probably don't understand the word half the time.
"The shutting down of parliament has essentially killed a bill I have worked on for two and a half years, something that people in this house have deeply held feeling on. And I'm meant to believe the prime minister is doing this because he has a vision for the people in this country.
"He has a vision that comes to him every night and it is his own face.
"I will vote against a general election until the end of October because the public want me here working for them, and that is what I will do."
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