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Badenoch backs Sunak in PMQs trans row

Kemi Badenoch (Credit: Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak’s transgender jibe at Prime Minister’s Questions has riled Labour and Lib Dems MPs. The PM mocked Keir Starmer for not knowing what a woman is, just moments before Esther Ghey, the mother of the murdered trans teen Brianna, came into the Commons.

‘Of all the weeks to say that when Brianna’s mother is in this chamber,’ said Starmer. Labour MP Liz Twist urged Sunak to ‘apologise to Brianna Ghey’s mother’. Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper MP said the prime minister was ‘sinking lower and lower’.

Yet one MP leapt to Sunak’s defence: step forward Kemi Badenoch. The minister for women and equalities said it was in fact Keir Starmer who was being ‘shameful’.

Every murder is a tragedy. None should be trivialised by political point-scoring. As a mother, I can imagine the trauma that Esther Ghey has endured. It was shameful of Starmer to link his own inability to be clear on the matter of sex and gender directly to her grief.

As Minister for Women and Equalities I’ve done all I can to ensure we have take the heat out of the debate on LGBT issues while being clear about our beliefs and principles. Keir Starmer’s behaviour today shows Labour are happy to weaponise this issue when it suits them.

Some Tories want Badenoch to replace Sunak, but on this issue Kemi appears to be fully behind the PM.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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