Keir Starmer ‘sad and wrong’ to link trans jibe with Ghey case – Rishi Sunak

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Watch: Rishi Sunak chose not to apologise to Brianna Ghey’s father over a trans comment in the Commons

Keir Starmer was “sad and wrong” to link a jibe about Labour’s transgender position with the case of murdered transgender teen Brianna Ghey, Rishi Sunak has said.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, the PM mocked Sir Keir for his stance on “defining a woman”.

The Labour leader strongly criticised Mr Sunak for making the comments when Brianna’s mum was in Parliament.

Brianna’s dad said the joke had been “degrading”.

He told Sky News he had been shocked by Mr Sunak’s comments and called for an apology.

Senior minister Penny Mordaunt suggested Mr Sunak should “reflect” on his actions.

However, the prime minister declined to apologise saying his words were “absolutely legitimate”.

He also fiercely attacked the Labour leader for using Brianna’s murder “to detract from the very separate and clear point I was making about Keir Starmer’s proven track record of multiple U-turns on major policies, because he doesn’t have a plan, I think is both sad and wrong, and it demonstrates the worst of politics.”

He said he had “nothing but the most heartfelt sympathy for [Brianna’s] entire family and friends”.

The exchange in question took place in the House of Commons as Mr Sunak listed what he described as a number of Labour U-turns, accusing Sir Keir of changing his position on “defining a woman”.

“Although in fairness, that was only 99% of a U-turn,” he added.

Sir Keir replied: “Of all the weeks to say that, when Brianna’s mother is in this chamber. Shame.

“Parading as a man of integrity when he’s got absolutely no responsibility.”

Watch: Sunak makes trans jibe to Starmer at PMQs

Brianna’s mother Esther was not in the public gallery for the exchange but arrived shortly afterwards.

Brianna’s former headteacher Emma Mills had been with Esther Ghey during her visit to Parliament.

She told BBC Breakfast: “We came in late into the gallery and missed what was said, and I don’t think she’s really had time to look at the context and what exactly was said, and she wants a little bit of time to be able to do that today.”

Asked about the comments on Thursday, Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt said Mr Sunak was a “good and caring man” adding: “I’m sure that he has reflected on things.

“And that is not just about Mr and Mrs Ghey, that he should reflect on, but I am sure he is also reflecting about people who are trans or who have trans loved ones and family, some of whom sit on these green benches.

“I hope the Leader of the Opposition will also reflect on his actions too.

“This government has been right to protect the safety and dignity of woman at each stage of doing so has sought to bring certainty and assurance to trans people.

“This government is also right to hold the opposition to account for its multiple inconsistencies and u-turns on its policy platform.”

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