Peter Spooner, the father of Brianna Ghey, a transgender teenager tragically murdered last year, has called for an apology from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak following a controversial comment made during a session of Prime Minister’s Questions.
The comment, perceived as a jibe about trans women while Ghey’s mother was present in the chamber, has sparked significant backlash.
The Prime Minister was accused of jokingly critiquing the Labour leader’s stance on defining a woman, suggesting he had reneged on numerous promises. “I think I have counted almost 30 in the last year… defining a woman, although in fairness, that was only 99 per cent of a u-turn,” Sunak remarked on 7 February, inciting criticism for the timing and nature of the comment.
Expressing his dismay, Spooner told Sky News he found Sunak’s remarks “dehumanising” and inappropriate for the country’s leader. “Identities of people should not be used in that manner,” Spooner asserted, emphasising the need for an apology from the Prime Minister.
Labour leader Keir Starmer, responding to Sunak’s comment in the House, highlighted the insensitivity of such remarks, especially given the context of Brianna Ghey’s family’s mourning and presence in the chamber. “Of all the weeks to say that, when Brianna’s mother is in this chamber. Shame,” Starmer retorted.
Despite the criticism, Sunak has not issued an apology for his comment, which his spokesperson defended as a legitimate critique of political U-turns, denying any transphobic intent.
The Labour Party condemned Sunak’s remarks as offensive to transgender individuals, urging him to reconsider his words and issue an apology. This incident comes amid continuing debates on transgender rights and recognition in the UK.
The call for Sunak’s apology gains further gravity following the sentencing of Brianna Ghey’s murderers. The two teenagers were convicted for the brutal attack on Ghey, who suffered 28 stab wounds, in a case that has highlighted issues of transphobia and violence.