LONDON – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced criticism Wednesday after trying to mock the Labor leader’s stance on the definition of women, less than two minutes after lawmakers heard the mother of a murdered transgender teenager was in parliament.
In response to a question from Keir Starmer, Sunak listed a number of issues the Labor leader has shown he has repeatedly moved on from and finished with a quip about his position on “defining a woman”, although to be fair it was only 99%. U-turn.”
His comments were aimed at shaming Starmer, whom Sunak’s Conservatives accused of being hesitant about self-identification and who last year pounced on his comment that “99.9% of women don’t have penises”.
Starmer, who welcomed Brianna Ghey’s mother, Esther Ghey, responded angrily. He said the comments were inappropriate and Sunak later acknowledged Ghey.
“All the weeks to say it when Brianna’s mom was in this room. It’s a shame,” Starmer said. “Parading as an honest man when he has no responsibilities.”
last friday Two 16-year-olds convicted of Brianna’s murder a year ago he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 20 and 22 years.
The gruesome murder shocked the nation. Brianna, 16, was stabbed 28 times in the head, neck, chest and back with a hunting knife at noon on February 11, 2023, after being lured to a park in Warrington, northwest England.
Brianna’s mother has been widely praised for her dignified response, calling for some empathy and compassion for the families of the convicted couple. In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, he said he would be open to meeting the mother of Scarlett Jenkinson, one of Brianna’s two killers.
Esther Ghey is campaigning for restrictions on under-16s’ mobile phone access and wider use of mindfulness in schools to help teachers and children look after their mental health.
At the end of Sunak’s weekly and often vociferous parliamentary questioning, he admitted that Brianna’s mother was in the chamber.
“As I said earlier this week, if I may say to Brianna Ghey’s mother here, what happened was an unimaginable and shocking tragedy,” he said. “As I said earlier this week, for her mother to show the compassion and empathy that she did last weekend, I thought she showed the best of humanity in the face of seeing the worst of humanity.
“He deserves all our admiration and praise for that,” he said.
LGBTQ+ rights group Stonewall has called on Sunak to apologize for its “cheap, insensitive and crude” use of trans people.
The exchange raised concerns about the level of debate ahead of general elections later this year.
With his Conservative Party lagging heavily behind the main opposition Labor Party in opinion polls, Sunak has come under pressure from some MPs who have tried to draw dividing lines to bring up the so-called “culture war”. begins to dominate public discussions.