“Labour’s Jess Phillips undermines Corbyn’s manifesto by admitting they can’t or won’t deliver on their promises”

Conservative Party Twitter account

November 21, 2019

Claim

The Conservative Party shared an edited video of Labour’s Jess Phillips that made her appear to say on the same day of its launch that Labour could not deliver the promises in its 2019 manifesto. 

Facts

The video posted by the Tories is from an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on 3 October — weeks before the manifesto’s publication. 

During the interview, Phillips was asked by host Susanna Reid: “If you are going to stand on a party manifesto that makes promises, the electorate want you to keep to those promises don’t they?” 

Phillips said her constituents have never challenged her on manifesto promises, to which Reid replied, “so should we take no notice of manifestos?”

Phillips answered that there is value in saying that politicians can never ever deliver “all those things that you’re pretending you can deliver” in manifestos.

Phillips was speaking generally about manifestos, and not about the 2019 Labour manifesto. She is a politician who prides herself on candour and has written two books on this theme. When she made her general remarks on manifestos she was promoting the second of these “Truth To Power; 7 Ways To Call Time On B.S.”

In the original tweet, the Conservatives lied, claiming wrongly that Phillips made her comments on 21 November, after publication of the manifesto. 

The Conservatives’ Twitter account has since posted the clip with the correct timestamp. However, it implied again that Phillips was referring to the Labour manifesto, while adding an irrelevant charge that Jeremy Corbyn could not be trusted on Brexit. 

Phillips has complained about how the Tories tried to mislead voters by distorting her statements. She has received no response. 

Verdict 

The Conservatives told a lie about Jess Phillips and Labour’s manifesto, and when challenged  they effectively repeated it. This was in spite of exposure by Full Fact.

They have left the second misleading tweet on the record. Since Phillips is a candidate in her former constituency of Birmingham Yardley on the basis of Labour’s manifesto, the lie is especially damaging to her and she has been forced into what should be an unnecessary effort to rebut it.

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