As expected, Jess Phillips has pulled out of the Labour leadership contest. She has based her parliamentary career so far – five long years – on the idea that she is special because she is ‘ordinary’. After becoming the MP for Birmingham Yardley in 2015, she set to work creating as much publicity for herself as possible, aided by a willing group of journalists and publishers desperate to convince themselves that Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was some sort of anomaly, easily remedied by finding the ‘right person’ to replace him.
After Ed Miliband resigned, the acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said the system for electing his replacement would ‘let the public in’ to the debate: This is the first time a political party in this country has opened up its leadership contest in this way and I think there will be a real appetite for it out there... We should not be afraid of differences. We should thrash them out.