WORKING-CLASS people were better represented in TV and the media under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, Jess Phillips has said. 

The high-profile Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley insisted modern depictions of class are often voyeuristic or exploitative. 

She made the comments during an interview with the comedian Joe Lycett at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. 

Ms Phillips said: "My husband always says Tory Governments do one thing: they make the music good and the telly good. 

"When I was a kid in the 1980s, the representation of working class people in almost every culture was way, way better than it is today. 

"It was people's real lives – stuff like Boys from the Blackstuff, Carla Lane's Bread. 

"These people were proud people, who were allowed to be funny and clever and know about politics."

She said a "huge amount of the way that stories get told now about people's class" is voyeuristic or exploitative.

Ms Phillips also hit out at the "London-centric" approach of much of the media.

She said: "There is so much culture that gets missed. Anybody who woke up on the day of the Brexit vote and was surprised by the result, there is a responsibility for those who give us a window into the world that they all missed something for a reason. 

"There are real lives and real stories that need to be much, much better presented, and that is a class thing as much as anything else."