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Jess Phillips shares Downing Street plans after revealing potential leadership

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Hollie Richardson
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Jess Phillips online abuse

After revealing that she “might” run for Labour leadership if Jeremy Corbyn stands down, Jess Phillips shared her IKEA plans for Downing Street – and the company had the best response.

Last weekend, Labour MP Jess Phillips attended the Cheltenham Literature Festival to speak about her new book. 

Truth To Power: 7 Ways Call Time On B.S. inspires readers to speak out against injustices, while sharing the stories of women like Natasha Elcock, who chaired a survivors’ group after the Grenfell fire, and Sara Rowbotham, the NHS worker who played a key role in uncovering the Rochdale child abuse ring.

While discussing her book, the MP for Birmingham Yardley revealed that she “might” consider running for Labour leadership if the Party loses the next general election. It came after the news that Jeremy Corbyn would stand down as Party leader (which he has since denied). 

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“Might do, yes,” replied Phillips when she was asked about running for leadership. “The answer is I genuinely don’t know. I’d have to see how the land lay at that moment.”

She continued: “What I don’t want to be is just a personality in politics. We have gone too far down that rabbit hole.

“If I stand it has to be not just because people trust me, people do trust me, it isn’t just because people feel connected with that. That’s not enough, it has to be about having a genuine plan for the future for our country.

“At that time, I would make that assessment about whether I was the best thing for the future of the country. That’s a big ask of someone but I am incredibly arrogant.”

Jess Phillips online abuse
Will Jess Phillips run for Labour leadership?

Phillips also said that it was “not impossible” for Labour to become the largest party at the next poll, but she added that a majority is unlikely.

Thinking about 10 Downing Street as a potential future home, she also revealed that she would pay for IKEA furniture  – with her own money  – to renovate the place on a budget. 

“You’ve got to think about these things – and I don’t like the decoration,” Phillips joked. “You can change it, but you’ve got to do it frugally so nobody minds. I’ll go round IKEA and do a refit. I’m mentally moving in.”

The iconic Swedish home furnishings retailer has now shown its support for the MP by responding in the best possible way.

“If you’re in this position @Jessphillips, we’ll have our interior design team on standby,” the IKEA account tweeted on Tuesday (16 October). 

In a recent interview with Stylist, Phillips shared her views on becoming prime minister, saying: “There has never been anyone like me who has been the prime minister, so it is hard. 

“But more and more, recently, I would say yes. My mates have started to make jokes that start with, “When you’re the PM….” It’s usually questions about if I will still be allowed to hang out with them. Or if security details will have to come on holiday with us.”

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She also said what she wants to happen with Brexit, which is due to finally happen on 31 October, adding: “I want the prime minister [Boris Johnson] to negotiate a deal as he said he’d find it oh-so-easy to do, then I want it to come before parliament where I would vote for it – on the condition that the people get a final say now it’s clear what they’d be voting for. 

“After a referendum I’d want a general election.”

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With UK politics currently being in what can only be described as a shambolic and confusing state, all we know is that anything could happen.

Jess Phillips will be speaking at this year’s Stylist Live Luxe. Find more details about the weekend event in November here. 

Images: Getty

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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