MP Jess Phillips calls for crackdown after voters 'threatened with violence at polling stations'

Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips has called for a crackdown after voters were 'threatened with violence at polling stations.' The Labour politician believes exclusion zones around polling stations should be considered.

It comes after she witnessed an "intimidation in politics" at the 2024 General Election. She claimed people had "followed and filmed activists out canvassing, slashed their car tyres and threatened them in the street." She also said groups of men were seen hanging around polling stations "shouting at people."

The 42-year-old now wants to see tougher electoral regulation and plans to speak to new Home Secretary Yvette Cooper about the issue. Mrs Phillips was heckled during her winning speech and said the conditions meant this election had been the "worst in which she had ever stood."

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Speaking about her experience at this election, Mrs Phillips told the Sun on Sunday: “What I saw was men crowding around polling stations, threatening people going in, people being dragged to vote a certain way. As well as people following activists door knocking, filming them, slashing their tyres, threatening them in the street. There needs to be a look at intimidation in politics.”

Re-elected Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley Jess Phillips -Credit:Nick Wilkinson/Birmingham Live
Re-elected Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley Jess Phillips -Credit:Nick Wilkinson/Birmingham Live

She added: "The days when it was a nice old lady saying politely ‘I hope you Tory, or I hope you vote Labour’. This isn’t what I’m talking about. What we saw was literal intimidation, people being threatened with violence when they are going into polling station. It’s always groups of men hanging round polling stations shouting at people.”

The MP narrowly reclaimed her Birmingham seat with 11,275 votes - beating Workers Party candidate Jody McIntyre by just a 693 majority after he received 10,582 votes. Independent candidates were expected to take votes off Labour by capitalising on the party's much-criticised stance on Gaza.

A number of activists were ejected for disrupting the announcement of the results in the early hours of Friday, July 5. Men were heard shouting "shame on you" as Mrs Phillis responded: "You can't bear seeing a strong woman up here."

She told crowds: "This election has been the worst campaign I have ever been involved in. Today a brilliant community activist who puts on events for every single part of our community went out to campaign for me and was filmed on the streets and then had her tyres slashed. A young woman on her own delivering leaflets was filmed and screamed at by a much older man.

"Today I was due to be joined on the election trail by the family of (murdered MP) Jo Cox and there is absolutely no way I could have allowed them to see what was going on here, what was aggressive and violent in our democracy."

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