Jess Phillips MP prepared to use Parliamentary privilege to name businessman at centre of sexual harassment and racism allegations

Jess Phillips MP

Jess Phillips MP. Image: Getty

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Labour MP Jess Phillips has threatened to use Parliamentary privilege to name a leading businessman accused of racism and sexual harassment, who has been granted an injunction.

Ms Phillips chairs the Women's Parliamentary Labour Party and posted on Twitter that she was "done" with "rich men using our laws to hide you away".

The businessman is facing sexual harassment and racial abuse allegations, but was granted an injunction meaning the story could not be reported, nor his identity revealed.

Allegations against the executive were reportedly made by five employees, who are believed to have signed non-discosure agreements as part of a settlement deal, which included "substantial payouts", according to a High Court ruling.

However, Ms Phillips has said she is willing to reveal the identity of the businessman using Parliamentary privilege, which means she could reveal the businessman's identity within the House of Commons chamber without legal repurcussions.


'Unequal arms used to silence the vulnerable'

She wrote online: "In this NDA argument, the "businessman" can speak to whoever he likes, he can call up MPs who might be his mates, he can spend tonnes of ££ on fancy lawyers and seek help wherever he wants. The wronged party sits while the furore goes on scared of being sued able to tell no one.

"I am just so sick of seeing unequal arms used to silence [the] vulnerable in our courts. Riches cannot mean impunity."

She added that an injunction was "a lot of money" to spend "to just end up being found out anyway" and said any of the alleged victims in the case could "get in touch" with her.

Ms Phillips is expected to raise the issue at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon, but said she "won't name anyone" at this stage.

The individual at the centre of the allegations began legal proceedings in July, after the Daily Telegraph approached them and the company they are affiliated with with a series of claims and allegations.

The story was due to be on the newspaper's front page today, but Britain's Court of Appeal prevented the story from running.