Asked if she believed Corbyn should be prime minister, Phillips told the meeting hosted by The Times: “Not yet.” She said she would have to fight a general election by convincing her local voters to back her personally rather than focus on who the party leader was.
“I am going to have to find a way of coming down form the fact I have no confidence in Jeremy,” she said. “What I’ll say on the doorstep is ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s not on the ballot’. That’s what I said about Ed Miliband.”
Phillips, who was elected in 2015, said it did not seem likely Labour would be in power during her lifetime as an MP. “At the moment, as of today, I can’t see that I will ever be in the position where I am in the chamber of the House of Commons on the other side,” she said.
In August, Phillips hinted she would be prepared to quit the party if Corbyn was re-elected. However she told a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool it would be fair to say she had “bottled” it and was not about to walk away. “I have to give him more than two days,” she said. “We have to give him a chance.”
However she joked one thing that would make her quit would be if George Galloway was readmitted to the party. She said Corbyn should come out and say: “Of course George Galloway will never rejoin the Labour Party
Phillips said any new breakaway political party needed a charismatic leader that people could “really believe in”.
“I’m not going to join the ‘It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time’ party,” she said, adding with a joke about Labour’s current woes: “although maybe I did.”