Episode 22: Jess Phillips

I really wanted to meet Jess Phillips. We are just about the same age and I have followed her career with interest and affection. I was very glad to say that I liked her just as much in real life as I have done from afar. Jess is the Labour MP for Yardley in Birmingham, serving the same area she grew up in. It's also where she has brought up her 2 sons with her husband Tom, who has always done the lion's share of the childcare and cooking. Jess jokes that she sometimes feels like a 1950s househusband asking Tom why dinner isn't on the table, when she's finshed work. She is pleasingly happy in her own skin and has a turn of phrase that really tickles me. She talked to me proudly about her mum and dad's political activism, and happy memories of watching Prime Minister's Questions after school with her nan every week. She talked about how every woman should be able to choose to have or not have a baby. And she described how she sometimes deals with aggression by fighting back with humour. She revealed that having two children made her feel she could do anything. And she also has one of the best stories I have ever heard invoving paving slabs. Though I realise the bar for that may not be very high.


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