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Brianna Ghey's father calls for Rishi Sunak to apologise for 'degrading' PMQs transgender jibe

The father of Brianna Ghey has called on Rishi Sunak to apologise for his “degrading” transgender jibe during PMQs.

In an attack at Prime Minister’s Questions aimed at Labour policy u-turns, Mr Sunak accused Sir Keir Starmer of having difficulty in “defining a woman”.

Brianna Ghey’s mother was in attendance at the House of Commons for the weekly showdown.

The remarks prompted an immediate backlash, but Downing Street doubled down on the comments and insisted the joke was not transphobic.

Speaking to Sky News, Peter Spooner said Mr Sunak's remarks were "degrading" and "absolutely dehumanising".

He said: "As the prime minister for our country to come out with degrading comments like he did, regardless of them being in relation to discussions in parliament, they are absolutely dehumanising.

"Identities of people should not be used in that manner, and I personally feel shocked by his comments and feel he should apologise for his remarks."

Peter Spooner, pictured right (PA)
Peter Spooner, pictured right (PA)

Mr Starmer, who met with Brianna’s mother Esther Ghey on Wednesday afternoon, condemned the Prime Minister’s remark with a chorus of opposition backbenchers calling out “shame”.

Esther Ghey is now campaigning for under-16s to be blocked from accessing social media on smartphones and for stronger parental controls to flag potentially harmful searches to parents.

Number 10 repeatedly declined to apologise for Mr Sunak’s language and said it was part of a “legitimate” criticism of Labour.

Mr Sunak’s press secretary said: “If you look back on what the Prime Minister was saying, there was a long list of u-turns that the leader of the opposition had been making.

“I don’t think those u-turns are a joke, it is quite serious changes in public policy. I think it is totally legitimate for the Prime Minister to point those out.”

“It is clearly part of what happens in the chamber, at prime minister’s questions, to point out the u-turns an opposition leader has made,” she added.

The Labour leader immediately rebuked Mr Sunak for the joke.

“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.”

Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe were both 15 when they killed Brianna with a hunting knife after luring her to Linear Park, Culcheth, a village near Warrington, Cheshire, on February 11 last year.

The pair were sentenced for the murder on Friday. Jenkinson must serve a minimum of 22 years before parole and Ratcliffe 20 years.