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  1. ITV Report

Labour MP Jess Phillips targeted by trolls after scoffing at men's rights debate request

Labour MP Jess Phillip has said internet trolls have made threats of rape. Credit: PA

Labour's Jess Phillips has said she is staying off the internet on Friday following threats of rape made against her.

The MP for Birmingham Yardley has been targeted by trolls after ridiculing a suggestion that men’s issues should be debated in Parliament on International Men’s Day.

She also tweeted that it is her son's seventh birthday and she is glad he is too young to see all the people "threatening" to assault her on the internet.

On Tuesday, Tory MP Philip Davies made the request in front of a backbench parliamentary committee, of which Ms Phillips is the only female member, "in the spirit of gender equality".

He said it was "fitting" as an annual debate is held on International Women’s Day but opportunities to discuss issues affecting men were "very limited."

Philip Davies called for the debate 'in the spirit of gender equality'. Credit: parliamentlive.tv

"Not only to we have International Women's Day, we also have women and equalities question time every month...which we don't have for men ,so the opportunity to discuss issues which are important to them is very limited", Mr Davies said.

As the MP continued his pitch, Ms Phillips burst out laughing and then covered her mouth to stifle her laughter.

"I'm not entirely sure why it's so humourous, Mr Davies said, to which Ms Phillips replied, "as the only woman on this committee, it seems like every day to me is International Men’s Day".

Jess Phillips (circled) covers her mouth in an attempt to stifle her laughter. Credit: parliamentlive.tv

“When I’ve got parity, when women in these buildings have parity, you can have your debate. And that will take an awfully long time", she continued.

Labour MP Jess Phillips said 'it seems like every day to me is International Men’s Day'. Credit: parliamentlive.tv

Since the exchange, Ms Phillips has received both messages of support and criticism on social media which she appeared to take in her stride until the recent threats of rape.

It is not the first time Ms Phillips has been at the centre of controversy since being elected an MP in 2014.

In September, she apologised to shadow international development secretary Diane Abbott after reportedly swearing at her during a heated exchange about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's failure to appoint women to top roles in his shadow cabinet.