‘I must vote with my constituents, my head, and my heart’ – Jess Phillips’ resignation letter in full

Jess Phillips was the most high-profile Labour MP to quit the frontbench over Keir Starmer’s stance on Gaza, after voting in the House of Commons for a Scottish National Party amendment calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

She was one of 56 Labour MPs to vote for the amendment to the King’s Speech on Wednesday night.

The 10 frontbench resignations were as follows:

  • Paula Barker, Shadow Minister for devolution and the English Regions
  • Rachel Hopkins, Shadow Minister for Veterans
  • Afzal Khan, Shadow Minister for Legal Aid of the United Kingdom
  • Sarah Owen, Shadow Minister for Local Government and Faith
  • Jess Phillips, Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding
  • Yasmin Qureshi, Shadow Minister for International Development
  • Naz Shah, Shadow Minister for Crime Reduction
  • Andy Slaughter, Shadow Solicitor General
  • Dan Carden, Parliamentary Private Secretary
  • Mary Foy, Parliamentary Private Secretary

Read Phillips’ resignation letter to Keir Starmer in full below: 

Dear Keir,

This week has been one of the toughest weeks in politics since I entered parliament. I have tried to do everything that I could to make it so that this was not the outcome, but it is with a heavy heart that I will be leaving my post in the shadow Home Office team.

On this occasion I must vote with my constituents, my head, and my heart which has felt as if it were breaking over the last four weeks with the horror of the situation in Israel and Palestine.

I can see no route where the current military action does anything but put at risk the hope of peace and security for anyone in the region now and in the future.

It is with great regret that I walk away from the role of domestic abuse and safeguarding shadow minister, however I don’t walk away from the work. Working with Yvette Cooper on the mission to halve incidents of domestic abuse within 10 years of a Labour government has been an honour. I am so proud that it is your Labour party and hopefully your government that has prioritised the chance to deliver a sea change in women’s safety not just tinkering with the legislation but actual systematic change across housing health, welfare, and the criminal justice system.

I will continue to do everything I can to deliver a Labour government and real change in the field of women’s safety. I will join the backbenches committed to being nothing but an asset to the delivery of a better future and Labour government that the people where I live and represent are desperate to see.

Yours sincerely,

Jess Phillips