Labour leadership hopeful Jess Phillips: 'Boris Johnson is not a very moral man'

Labour leadership hopeful Jess Phillips said Boris Johnson is not "a very moral man" (Picture: WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Boris Johnson is not a “very moral man”, according to Labour leadership hopeful Jess Phillips.

Ms Phillips, who is one of six MPs hoping to take over from Jeremy Corbyn, criticised the Prime Minister for not saying how many children he has, saying it “speaks to his character”.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Evening Standard, in which the MP for Birmingham Yardley set out her stall as potential Labour leader, she also criticised Labour’s handling of the antisemitism scandal and pledged to get rid of some of Jeremy Corbyn’s senior advisors.

Asked about her opinions on Mr Johnson, she said: “I don’t think he is a very moral man.”

Ms Phillips suggested Boris Johnson's refusal to say how many children she has "speaks to his character" (Picture: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)

Describing having seen “sex scandals, sleaze and sexuality” in politics when she was younger, she said: “You know I am not one who thinks it should have anything to do with the politics of this building, but it speaks to his character. I mean, just not being able to say how many children you have. As a woman, I really remember those kids being born — it hurt!”

She went on to say that she would be able to ignore the PM’s morality if she didn’t believe it would affect his role, adding: “I can’t help but think, ‘You can’t lie to your family; how could I ever trust you?’”


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During the interview, Ms Phillips also covered the abuse she has received as an MP, as well as outlining the issues she sees as key if she becomes leader.

As of Friday, the outspoken MP was one of four leadership hopefuls to have the 22 backers required to remain in the running - with Clive Lewis and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry facing a race against time to stay in the race.

On Friday, figures from the Labour Party showed Mr Lewis and Ms Thornberry were the only two in the six-candidate field who had failed to reach the threshold of 22 nominations - Mr Lewis with four and Ms Thornberry at nine.

Alongside Ms Phillips, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer all have enough backers.

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