Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Liveupdated1707422449

Brianna Ghey’s mother breaks silence over Rishi Sunak trans row - latest

Sunak branded ‘an absolute disgrace’ after making jibe at ill-tempered session of Prime Minister’s Questions

Matt Mathers
Thursday 08 February 2024 20:00 GMT
Comments
Starmer and Sunak clash over transgender rights and NHS waiting lists during PMQs

Brianna Ghey’s mother has said she wants to create a lasting legacy for her daughter by creating a more “understanding, peaceful, and stronger society” in her first comments since Rishi Sunak’s trans jibe at Prime Minister’s Questions.

In a message posted on her Peace and Mind Facebook page, Esther Ghey said: “I don’t wish to comment on reports of wording or comments recently made. My focus is on creating a positive change and a lasting legacy for Brianna.

“Through Peace & Mind, we want to improve lives by empowering people, giving them the tools they need to build mental resilience, empathy, and self-compassion through mindfulness.

“In developing these skills, I hope that we can create a more understanding, peaceful, and stronger society for everyone.”

Earlier, the prime minister refused to apologise to the parents of a murdered teenager after making a transgender joke in the commons.

He insisted his comments on Wednesday, made while Brianna Ghey’s mother Esther was visiting parliament, were “absolutely legitimate” because he was pointing out Sir Keir Starmer’s U-turns.

1707422449

Brianna’s mum wants to create a ‘more understanding society’ in first comments since Sunak jibe

Brianna Ghey’s mother has said she wants to create a lasting legacy for her daughter by creating a more “understanding, peaceful, and stronger society” in her first comments since Rishi Sunak’s trans jibe at PMQs.

In a message posted on her Peace and Mind Facebook page, Esther Ghey said: “I don’t wish to comment on reports of wording or comments recently made. My focus is on creating a positive change and a lasting legacy for Brianna.

“Through Peace & Mind, we want to improve lives by empowering people, giving them the tools they need to build mental resilience, empathy, and self-compassion through mindfulness.

“In developing these skills, I hope that we can create a more understanding, peaceful, and stronger society for everyone.”

Brianna Ghey’s mother Esther Ghey met Sir Keir Starmer (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Matt Mathers8 February 2024 20:00
1707417563

ICYMI: Sunak ‘very keen’ to meet Brianna’s parents

Policing minister Chris Philp said Mr Sunak is “very keen” to meet Brianna’s family and it is understood Number 10 has reached out to arrange a meeting.

Brianna’s mother had been in Westminster during PMQs with her local MP in Warrington, Charlotte Nichols, as she campaigns for mindfulness lessons to be taught in schools following the killing of her daughter.

Brianna was stabbed to death by teenagers Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe in a Cheshire park last February.

Chris Philp (PA Archive)
Matt Mathers8 February 2024 18:39
1707415249

Badenoch ‘wrong’ to say Labour weaponised Brianna case

Kemi Badenoch was “wrong” to suggest that Labour weaponised Rishi Sunak’s comments about trans people, Keir Starmer has said.

Cabinet ministers have defended the prime minister over the remarks, insisting they were not directly connected to Brianna’s case, with Ms Badenoch, the business secretary, accusing Labour of trying to “weaponise” the exchange in its criticism.

Asked about Ms Badenoch’s claim, the Labour leader said: “She’s completely and utterly wrong. The idea that I’m responsible for Rishi Sunak’s comments is through the looking glass.”

Keir Starmer (PA Wire)

Matt Mathers8 February 2024 18:00
1707412645

Starmer: Sunak should apologise for trans jibe

Rishi Sunak should apologise as “swiftly as possible” for his transgender joke, Sir Keir Starmer has said, as the Prime Minister resists a call from Brianna Ghey’s father to express regret about the remark.

The Labour leader said the PM should “do the right thing” after Peter Spooner, Brianna’s father, demanded he say sorry for the “dehumanising” and “degrading” jibe.

Mr Sunak had accused Sir Keir of being incapable of “defining a woman” in an attack on Labour U-turns in the Commons while Esther Ghey, Brianna’s mother, visited Parliament.

His comment prompted fierce criticism from across the political spectrum, with Sir Keir telling Mr Sunak: “Of all the weeks to say that, when Brianna’s mother is in this chamber. Shame.”

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the Labour leader said: “This is nothing to do with me. This is Brianna’s father. They’ve had their child murdered and he has put his words out about what the Prime Minister said and it’s not good enough for the Prime Minister’s team to go out today and effectively say to Brianna’s father ‘you didn’t understand what Rishi was saying’.

“He did understand. He’s given his reaction. The right thing to do is to apologise as swiftly as possible – not just reflect but apologise. This is a grieving father.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (PA) (PA Wire)

Matt Mathers8 February 2024 17:17
1707409718

ICYMI: Minister rows in behind Sunak over trans jibe

Government minister Laura Trott denied Sunak’s remarks were a “joke” and insisted they had “absolutely nothing to do with this appalling tragedy”.

The chief secretary to the Treasury told LBC: “I want to be really, really clear that this wasn’t a joke…it has absolutely nothing to do with this appalling tragedy.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt insisted that the PM “could not have been clearer about the enormous respect he has for Brianna Ghey’s mother” and that his point had been about Labour “flip-flopping on important issues”.

Matt Mathers8 February 2024 16:28
1707408049

Sunak should apologise for trans jibe, former minister suggests

A former government minister has suggested Rishi Sunak should apologise for his trans joke.

“If it was me, I would probably pick up the phone to Brianna’s father, frankly,” Paul Scully, the former business minister, told the BBC’s Politics Live show.

Watch below:

Matt Mathers8 February 2024 16:00
1707406249

Rishi Sunak’s Commons ‘joke’ will make life even more dangerous for trans people like me

“Personally, as a trans journalist, I have been subjected to extreme hatred for daring to talk about the role of transphobia in Brianna’s murder,” writes Jess O’Thomson. “I have had to leave social media due to accusations that this makes me a child ‘groomer’, as well as death threats.”

Read Jess’s piece in full here:

Sunak’s Commons ‘joke’ will make life even more dangerous for trans people like me

Trans journalist Jess O’Thomson explains why the prime minister’s widely condemned remark has added to an atmosphere that puts trans lives like Brianna Ghey’s in jeopardy

Matt Mathers8 February 2024 15:30
1707404343

Brianna’s mum wants to create a ‘more understanding society’ in first comments since Sunak jibe

Brianna Ghey’s mother has said she wants to create a lasting legacy for her daughter by creating a more “understanding, peaceful, and stronger society” in her first comments since Rishi Sunak’s trans jibe at PMQs.

In a message posted on her Peace and Mind Facebook page, Esther Ghey said: “I don’t wish to comment on reports of wording or comments recently made. My focus is on creating a positive change and a lasting legacy for Brianna.

“Through Peace & Mind, we want to improve lives by empowering people, giving them the tools they need to build mental resilience, empathy, and self-compassion through mindfulness.

“In developing these skills, I hope that we can create a more understanding, peaceful, and stronger society for everyone.”

Brianna Ghey’s mother Esther Ghey has called for her daughter’s killers to never be released (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
Matt Mathers8 February 2024 14:59
1707403501

Trans football team calls for Sunak to apologise

A trans football team has called on Rishi Sunak to apologise for his jibe in the Commons yesterday.

TRUK accused the prime minister of repeatedly using “trans people as a weapon”.

“We’re human beings, we’re part of this country, there’s plenty of trans people that live in this country and for him to keep weaponising us to get cheap laughs from his conservative crew is really wrong,” a spokesperson told the Daily Mirror.

“He wouldn’t pick on any other demographic. It’s just absolutely pathetic.”

File photo: PM speaks to a young girl while visiting a dental surgery on Thursday (PA)
Matt Mathers8 February 2024 14:45
1707401781

ICYMI: Sunak ‘keen’ to meet Brianna’s family but no apology

Rishi Sunak is “very keen” to meet murdered teenager Brianna Ghey’s family, a Government minister has said, but there is no sign of the Prime Minister heeding her father’s call for an apology over a transgender joke.

Brianna’s father, Peter Spooner, said Mr Sunak should say sorry for the “degrading” and “dehumanising” remark made during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Sunak had accused Sir Keir Starmer of having difficulty in “defining a woman” during an attack on Labour party U-turns.

But with the mother of Brianna, who was transgender, visiting Parliament, his comment prompted fierce criticism from across the political spectrum.

Policing minister Chris Philp on Thursday defended the Prime Minister’s jibe, telling BBC Breakfast: “The Prime Minister made no reference at all to any individual trans people.

“It was Keir Starmer who introduced that. The Prime Minister was making a point about Labour’s very numerous flip-flops.”

Asked about Mr Spooner’s request for an apology, Mr Philp said he was “very sad” to hear his comments, but suggested people “should actually listen” to the exchange in the House of Commons.

Matt Mathers8 February 2024 14:16

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in