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Jess Phillips: ‘Motherhood made me feel like I mattered. I wish that wasn’t the case’

The Birmingham MP Jess Phillips has written a new book called Mother. She reflects on losing her own mum, having children – and fighting for women’s r

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The Birmingham MP Jess Phillips has written a new book called Mother. She reflects on losing her own mum, having children – and fighting for women’s rights

It is fitting that before Jess Phillips can sit down to talk about her new book on motherhood, she has to spend a few seconds encouraging her son to go back to his school work, with all the plain-speaking (“go back to school!”) we’ve come to expect from the Labour MP for Birmingham, Yardley. She straightens herself on her sofa, and smiles through my laptop screen.

For Phillips, as for many working parents, this lockdown has been hard. She wasn’t impressed with the prime minister’s open letter of praise to parents last month. “I don’t want his patronising, thanks,” she says. “I want the government to pull their finger out and to have noticed that mothers across the country existed a year ago, and to have done something about that.”

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