Brendan O’Neill Brendan O’Neill

Brianna Ghey’s murder is being weaponised – but not by Sunak

Esther Ghey, the mother of murdered Brianna Ghey, meets Labour leader Keir Starmer (Credit: Getty images)

We really have seen the worst of politics over the past 24 hours. I’m not referring to Rishi Sunak’s dig at Keir Starmer for not knowing what a woman is – a swipe made while Esther Ghey, mother of the murdered trans teenager Brianna, was in Parliament. I’m referring to the cynical milking of this Commons spat by those who are desperate to get one over on the Prime Minister. They’re calling Sunak ‘crass’, but that insult suits them far better.

It isn’t the PM who has lost his moral bearings – it’s his noisy, fuming critics. All Sunak did during Prime Minister’s Questions was mock his opposite number for his ceaseless U-turning, including on the question of what a woman is. Sir Keir is notoriously bad at giving a straight answer to that simplest of queries.

Shame on those who have taken Brianna’s name in vain

No, it’s the behaviour of Sunak’s detractors, their pitiless transformation of this non-event into the scandal of the moment, that really turns the stomach. They are weaponising the unimaginable grief of the Ghey family to try to rattle the PM, to land blows on the Tories. They are marshalling a mother’s pain to the tyrannical ends of censuring Sunak and chilling public discussion on the trans question. It is politics at its unsightliest.

Let’s be clear: Sunak did not insult trans people. He absolutely did not insult the mourning Ghey family. He insulted Keir Starmer. He took Sir Keir to task for his flip-flopping and for once saying that 99.9 per cent of women don’t have a penis (which means 1 in 1,000 women do have a penis). This is Sunak’s job – to expose the shortcomings of the Leader of the Opposition. He did nothing wrong.

The same cannot be said of his haters. It feels like they are using a family’s pain as a political cudgel, a moral truncheon.

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