Today’s lethargic PMQs session was brought to life by a furious row over comments made by Rishi Sunak about transgender people. Labour leader Keir Starmer began the exchange by paying tribute to Esther Ghey, the mother of the murdered teenager Brianna. He then moved on to NHS waiting lists which Sunak had previously promised would come down on his watch. ‘Isn’t he glad he didn’t place a bet on it?’ he joked – a reference to the PM’s ill advised handshake with Piers Morgan.
Sunak shot back by suggesting that Sir Keir would only place a bet if it was an ‘each way’ one. He remarked it was ‘a bit rich’ to hear about promises from someone who had broken ‘every single promise he was elected on’. Sunak listed ‘pensions, planning, peerages’, among others, before adding that the Labour leader had u-turned on ‘defining a woman, although, in fairness, that was only 99 per cent of a u-turn.’
A visibly shocked Starmer took a while to compose himself by replying, in a tone of disgust: ‘Of all the weeks to say that, when Brianna’s mother is in this chamber. Shame.’ You can watch the exchange below:
Rishi Sunak accuses Keir Starmer of being incapable of "defining a woman".— Adam Schwarz (@AdamJSchwarz) February 7, 2024
This was less than a minute after Starmer welcomed the mother of murdered trans teenager Brianna Ghey, who's watching #PMQs from the House of Commons visitors' gallery. pic.twitter.com/hSy4xiIEQz