FRONTBENCH Labour MP Jess Phillips received a warm welcome in Worcester as she warned elections are 'a matter of life and death' for the most vulnerable.

The MP received loud cheers and applause from the Labour Party faithful when she arrived at a packed Spin the Black Circle in Pump Street, Worcester on Monday.

Elected to Birmingham Yardley in 2015, she has been Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding in Keir Starmer's Opposition frontbench since 2020.

Worcester News: WELCOME: Jess Phillips took time to talk to Labour councillors including Jabbar Riaz and Basharat AliWELCOME: Jess Phillips took time to talk to Labour councillors including Jabbar Riaz and Basharat Ali (Image: James Connell/Newsquest)

Welcomed by Lynn Denham and Adrian Gregson, the Mayor of Worcester, and other senior city Labour figures, the 41-year-old spoke of the importance of voting in local and general elections with the prospective parliamentary candidate Tom Collins also delivering a rousing speech. 

READ MORE: 'We're getting a solicitor to look at this ' say caravan owners over Ketch

READ MORE: Woman with dementia kept 'chemically restrained' and had maggots in wound says nephew

A sea of red flooded Worcester's only Vinyl Store and Coffee House from crimson t-shirts to bright rosettes - with even their unofficial mascot, Bruce the dog wearing one.

After her speech, Jess Phillips was due to go door-to-door to help the local election campaign later that afternoon.

Worcester News: Bruce the dog with his Labour rosette at Spin the Black Circle Bruce the dog with his Labour rosette at Spin the Black Circle (Image: James Connell/Newsquest)

Mrs Phillips, who described Worcester as 'incredibly charming', told the crowds crime was being 'completely unanswered' and that people could no longer call any emergency service and 'expect it to turn up'.

She added: "In the line of work that I have worked in all my life and continue to campaign on, it is literally a matter of life and death for vulnerable women and children across our country that we cannot deliver for them any even vague semblance of safety and security at the moment.

"When we can't call the police because, you know, my kid's bike been nicked and actually the police have just become a third arm of the insurance industry, that's one thing.

"The women I work with when their husbands turn up at the door with a machete and it takes seven days for a police officer to turn up, that is a life and death situation.

"And so don't just think of it as taking Worcester. Don't just think of it as taking a few more seats at a local council. The difference of life and death for the women I work with when you have a Labour council is unbelievable."

In an interview after the speech, she said her own father had to wait 27 hours in A&E for treatment but also of the kindness of the NHS staff who treated him, describing the NHS as 'a religion to British people'. 

Cllr Denham reminded the audience that 'every vote counts' and added 'that's the first rule of politics I believe'.

She also explained how delicately balanced the situation was in Worcester with 35 councillors, reminding everyone to vote as any one party with 18 councillors has overall control.

Tom Collins who hopes to be Worcester's next MP shared an anecdote about his canvassing in Worcester only to find a man who 'didn't do politics'.

However, he added: "It was soon clear he did do politics. He could see the problems. He could see how it could be and it mattered to him."

He argued 'this is the place, this is the moment' for change. "In democracy, decisions are made by those who show up. Will you show up?"