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‘I just had part-time jobs, not jobs on jobs’, explains Labour election candidate

‘I just had part-time jobs, not jobs on jobs’, explains Labour election candidate

🕔08.Apr 2015

A Birmingham Labour General Election candidate under attack for having three jobs has defended herself, explaining that two of the positions were part time, reports Paul Dale.

Jess Phillips, who hopes to take Yardley from Liberal Democrat John Hemming, is a Birmingham city councillor who also declared on the register of interests paid employment at the Sandwell Women’s Aid Centre and in the office of Erdington Labour MP Jack Dromey.

Ms Phillips was criticised for holding three jobs in the blog of Mr Hemming after she appeared to attack the business interests of the self-made millionaire and wrongly accused him of continuing to claim subsistence allowance when an MP.

In a bad tempered exchange, Mr Hemming accused Ms Phillips of continuing to claim meals allowances, which she is entitled to do, and added that “she has not been obvious in her absence from the annual council dinner”.

Ms Phillips hit back via Twitter, explaining that she is now on leave from the women’s aid centre and is not currently working for Mr Dromey. She described her role as a city councillor in the Longbridge ward, for which she receives just over £16,000 as a standard annual allowance, as “not officially employment”, adding: “We are not employees”.

She is also vice-chairman of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel.

Ms Phillips took the opportunity to support attacks on Tory party chairman Grant Shapps following his failure to make clear in a BBC interview that he once held two jobs while an MP. It emerged he continued to work as a web marketing ‘expert’ under the name Michael Green after being elected in 2005.

She said the issue was that Mr Shapps had not told the truth about his jobs. She added: “The fact still stands that I didn’t have jobs on jobs, I had part time jobs.”

Ms Phillips is hoping to overturn Mr Hemming’s 3,002-vote majority in Yardley on May 7. Mr Hemming won the seat in 2005 and held it in 2010.

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