POLITICS

Jess Phillips Clarifies She 'Did. Not. Threaten. To. Kill. Jeremy. Corbyn.'

15/12/2015 10:29 GMT | Updated 15/12/2015 10:59 GMT

Labour MP Jess Phillips has clarified she does not want to literally murder Jeremy Corbyn.

On Monday, the Birmingham Yardley MP gave an interview to The Guardian in which she would "knife" the Labour leader "in the front" if she believed he was leading the party to defeat in 2020.

Writing for The Huffington Post UK today, Phillips says too many people decided to "clutch their pearls in mock horror" at her use of language.

She says: "I want to spell out, I (space ) D I D (space) N O T (space) T H R E A T E N (space) T O (space) K I L L (space) J E R E M Y (space) C O R B Y N (stop)."

"In telling the truth I used a well-used metaphor about stabbing someone in the back. In which I said I would NOT stab him in the back," she says.

"Incidentally, what I was actually saying was that I will try to help him be electable. I will do whatever I can to do that, but I won't sit back and just allow an echo chamber to only praise him, nor will I ignore poll ratings and what I hear on the streets in my constituency. That helps no one."

JESS PHILLIPS: I Did Not Threaten To Kill Jeremy Corbyn

jess phillips

In an interview with The Guardian's Owen Jones published yesterday, Phillips said she would do anything she felt that would make the Labour party win the next election. "If I don't have that attitude - all I'm doing is colluding with the Tories," she said.

"If that's making Jeremy better I'll roll my sleeves up - [but] if that's not going to happen - and I've said that to him and his staff to their faces - the day that it becomes that you are hurting us more than you are helping us - I won't knife you in the back, I'll knife you in the front."

Writing for HuffPost UK today, Phillips said she "spoke my mind" in the Guardian interview. "I gave honest answers to the questions I was asked. I did not trot out some prepared line and make the interview about what I wanted it to be about," she says.

"Lots of politicians do this, they answer the question they wanted to hear. I'm not good at that, I speak like I would to my friends, my family and my constituents, who, I have to say, want to talk to me like a human. So Owen wanted to ask me about my feelings about Jeremy Corbyn. So I told the truth. My bad."