Jess Phillips predicts ‘nastiest election yet’ as lists key Birmingham issues locals raise

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-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)

Birmingham's Jess Phillips believes this will be the ‘nastiest election yet' as the General Election looms on July 4. The Labour candidate standing for re-election as MP for Birmingham Yardley also highlighted the biggest issues Brummies complain about to her on the doorstep.

Speaking in the weeks before Conservatives Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a surprise Summer election, mum-of-two Ms Phillips was already preparing her team for the vote as it was due to be called by the end of 2024. Ms Phillips said: "It will get really nasty when the election is called.

"The nastiest election I will have ever stood in I imagine. And that’s saying something after the Brexit referendum, although it wasn’t that nasty, it was only afterwards that it became toxic."

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The 42-year-old, who resigned from Kier Starmer's Shadow Cabinet over the Labour Party leader's stance on Gaza when she called for a ceasefire, has been in Parliament since May 2015. She has experience first-hand of three previous General Elections that she contested and won in her constituency.

"This will be the worst one I reckon," she added. "The levels of disinformation will be off the charts.

"The levels of vitriol and protest will be massive. They’ll be bad faith actors standing saying awful things to make bad things happen, which has always been the case.

woman standing in street
Jess Phillips seen here as a Birmingham City Councillor in 2012 before becoming the Birmingham Yardley MP in 2015 -Credit:BPM

"Bear in mind, in my 2017 election somebody put up posters all over the train station saying 'Jess Phillips is a feminist, Jess Phillips will hurt the education of your children', which was spelled wrong.

"I've had my face put on posters saying I’m a traitor, so we’ve not been without vitriol [in the past]."

Talking to residents across the Yardley constituency, Ms Phillips listed the main issues that were currently concerning people and they complained about the most.

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"The biggest issue that people come to us about is housing and homelessness without a shadow of a doubt," said Ms Phillips. "When knocking doors, it’s often been about exempt accommodation.

"Housing is the biggest issue bar none, crime comes up and drug dealing on the streets comes up a lot and just the state of the street and tidiness, then Gaza. In that order. Also healthcare.

"More and more at the moment is people’s inability to get healthcare. I’d say that’s peaking now, more so than it ever has in the decade I’ve been a member of parliament. Lot more complaints to health trusts and GPs and really starting to see woeful care.

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“But housing definitely is the top dog by a long way."

Top issues residents raise on doorstep according to Jess Phillips

  • Housing and homelessness

  • Exempt accommodation - this is 'supported accommodation' hostels and converted homes that house vulnerable people. There have been sharp rises of these in Yardley West and Stechford, where the number has doubled from 96 to 194 in a year.

  • Crime and drug-dealing

  • Street and community cleanliness

  • Gaza

  • NHS complaints