Labour MP Jess Phillips has come to the defence of singer Lily Allen, after she claimed grooming gang victims would have been “raped or abused by somebody else at some point” if Muslim groomers were not present in the United Kingdom.
Asked if the victims, who were overwhelmingly white working class, would have been groomed if their abusers were not present in the country, Allen claimed that, “Actually, there’s a strong possibility they would have been raped and abused by somebody else at some point. That’s kind of the issue.”
The celebrity then tried to divert attention from the subject of grooming gangs by saying people should be concerned with another type of abuser — “men that have sex with their stepdaughters twice a week for years at a time … neighbours, uncles, gardeners, priests, fast food restaurant managers that do it over and over again” — who she characterised as 100 per cent “British white males”.
— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) January 7, 2018
Allen’s comments prompted a substantial backlash on social media which saw her lock her Twitter account — but Jess Phillips said her “stand” was “inspiring”.
“Watching Lily Allen and Stella Creasy stand their ground for [the] last few days is inspiring for those who need resilience,” she tweeted, referring to the singer and one of her parliamentary colleagues.
“Oh for the days of reasonable discourse where issues could be explored,” she complained.
The left-liberal politician is no stranger to controversy herself, having infamously dismissed the mass sexual assault of German women by migrant men in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015.
The MP claimed there was nothing striking about the attacks, alleging that similar behaviour is seen on “Broad Street in Birmingham every week where women are baited and heckled”.
She suggested people should not be too quick to judge the North African and Middle Eastern migrants responsible for the Cologne attacks, saying people in Britain “should be careful in this country before we rest on our laurels when two women are murdered every week”.
The BBC reported the backlash against her remarks at the time, quoting members of the public including Harry Yorke who said comparing the Cologne migrant rape attacks to Birmingham’s bar-lined Broad street as “utter tripe and disingenuous”, and James Wilby who called it “quite insane”.