UK
12/02/2016 04:42 GMT | Updated 12/02/2016 04:59 GMT

Jess Phillips Tells Julia Hartley-Brewer 'Cheers For Laughing' After Being Mocked For Sexual Assaults

Jess Phillips has hit back at a prominent columnist who mocked her for telling men not to sexually assault women.

The Labour MP, who last week gave a powerful address to Parliament recalling the "terrifying" moment she was pinned against a pub wall and groped as a teenager, derided pundit Julia Hartley-Brewer for "laughing" at her for being a victim.

Despite Phillips' claims that throughout her childhood she had frequently been subjected to men flashing and masturbating in front of her, the moving memories failed to pass muster with the Telegraph columnist.

Hartley-Brewer sparked the spat, saying Phillips had seemingly "spent her entire life being sexually assaulted" - referencing two cities the Bible says God destroyed that have become by-words for vice.

She then said Phillips had told "ALL men" not to rape, adding: "Most men don't need to be told that, thanks."

But Phillips hit back, saying she had hardly been sexually assaulted her whole life, but more than once.

"Cheers for laughing at it though," the MP added.

Hartley-Brewer responded, questioning whether Phillips was lying about her experiences of sexual assault.

Leading a senior political journalist also at the Telegraph to call for calm and suggest that probing the number of times a person had or hadn't been groped was not "really helping anyone".

"Then don't get involved. Simple!" came the reply.

Minutes later, Phillips posted a series of none-too-cryptic tweets saying she had been besieged by "fools" and felt forced to restrain her responses to them due to her status as a public figure.

Tensions between the two have seemingly cooled off, with neither having engaged in the argument since their original joust last night.

Hartley-Brewer had been responding to an interview Phillips gave to Channel 4, in which she discussed the parallels between attacks on women in Cologne and those “baited and heckled” in her Birmingham constituency.

“What I would like to say to the men and boys of the world is don’t rape and sexually assault women,” she said.

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