LABOUR frontbencher Jess Phillips has been accused of “racist and bullying behaviour” after getting into a row on social media with high-profile headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh.

Birbalsingh, former chairwoman of the Social Mobility Commission and who was once dubbed “Britain’s strictest headteacher”, accused the Birmingham Yardley MP of seeking to “whip up a social media mob” against her on Twitter.

It came after the Birbalsingh, head of high-achieving Michaela Community School in Brent, said she inadvertently tweeted a picture of Tina Turner alongside her abusive former husband Ike Turner amid tributes to the late star.

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In a four-page, open letter to Labour leader Keir Starmer, Birbalsingh wrote: “She inspired a vicious mob attack against me on Twitter on the evening of May 24 2023, and called into question my school’s safeguarding policies in a deliberative attempt to challenge my competence as a Headteacher.”

She also said that she would be reporting Ms Phillips to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

She wrote: “Ms Phillips does not know me. She has never met me. She has never visited my school. The school is not in her constituency. In her Shadow Ministerial role, she has not previously publicly accused any other school headteachers in this way.

“My view is that Ms Phillips’ extreme and unprompted hostility towards me is motivated by my race. By this I do not mean that she hates all people of colour.

The National: Phillips has been accused of racism and bullyingPhillips has been accused of racism and bullying (Image: PA)

“Her behaviour is a clear example of ‘unconscious bias’. I mean that she hates me, despite not knowing me, because she subscribes to the idea that Black and Asian individuals in public life owe a duty to voice opinions that match with a left-wing view of the world, or they are worthy of her contempt.”

Phillips, the shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, is one of Labour’s most high-profile MPs and a regular user of Twitter.

Birbalsingh, who recently spoke at the National Conservatism conference in London, said she was a “floating voter” and was not a member of the Conservative party.

But she claimed that her attendance at the right-wing event helped explain Phillips’ anger towards her.

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She said that Phillips had brought Labour into “disrepute” and called on Starmer to take action.

“I would like assurances that regardless of what views are held by any member of your Shadow team or party, baseless and unfounded abuse will not be directed towards my school and me. This is entirely unacceptable,” she told the Labour leader.

Labour has not commented on the matter. Phillips has been contacted for a response.

Previously, Birbalsingh quit her role as social mobility tsar and said it was because she comes with "too much damage" and was doing "more harm than good".

She has also said in the past that conservative parents should be willing to take their children out of schools if they are "too woke", and prompted scathing criticism after she implied girls do not study A-level science because they dislike "hard maths".