Jess Phillips has delivered a passionate speech reminding MPs that many children will spend Christmas Day living with a “monster” who subjects them to abuse.
Speaking in the Commons today, the Labour MP said she would “dance with the devil to make women and children safer”.
Phillips, the MP for Birmingham Yardly, worked for a domestic sexual abuse charity before being elected to parliament in 2015.
Phillips was speaking as the Commons debated a bid launched by an SNP MP to make the UK government ratify the Istanbul Convention on domestic violence.
“I ask everybody in here to imagine that tension isn’t just because you’re not sure whether you’ve got the right gifts for your auntie or so-and-so isn’t going to have a chair or the children’s table is going to collapse like it did last year,” he told the Commons.
“Some people they wake up on Christmas Day and they will try not say anything wrong. They will try not to put a foot wrong. They will make sure everything is perfect. They will have risk assessed every single step they take throughout the day.
“Because just this one day their children deserve not to have the monster that lives in their home erupt in their faces.
“Just this one day, their children deserve to have the peaceful day that all our our children have taken for granted.”
Philips said the reason she chose to stand for election to parliament was “to bang my fists on this side of the table” having spent years lobbying MPs and ministers on the issue from outside parliament.
And she praised Theresa May for the work the prime minister had done on the issue of domestic violence.
“Long before I was in this place, I worked very closely with some of the Home Office officials, some of whom I know are here today, to work on these things.
“I have been working with the Home Office under the then home secretary, the now prime minister, for years. And I have never seen anything to lead me to believe they had anything but commitment to improving legislation in the area of domestic violence and sexual violence.”
Tory MP Philip Davies, who has previously complained about “militant feminists”, spoke for over an hour in an attempt to use parliamentary rules to prevent the bill from passing. He complained the bill focused too much on women.