- By Kate Vannell
- Political Correspondent
Rishi Sunak has accused Sir Keir Starmer of proving “the worst of politics” for “exploiting the tragedy” of Brianna Key in a House of Commons row.
The prime minister criticized Sir Keir on Wednesday for joking about “the definition of a woman” during a visit to Parliament by Brianna's mother.
The murdered transgender's father called on Mr Sunak to apologise.
But the Prime Minister refused to do so – instead accusing the Labor leader of “regret and wrongdoing”.
He said his words to Sir Kiir at Prime Minister's Questions were “absolutely legitimate”.
“I have nothing but the most heartfelt sympathy [Brianna Ghey’s] Whole family and friends.
“But to divert that sadness from the very distinct and clear point I make about Keir Starmer's proven track record of multiple U-turns on key policies, because he doesn't have a plan, I think is sad and wrong, and shows the worst state of politics.”
The exchange sparked uproar in the House of Commons as Mr Cair accused Sir Gair of changing his stance on “defining a woman” and listed what Mr Sunak described as a number of Labor U-turns.
“To be fair, that's only 99% of U-turns,” he added.
Sir Keir replied: “When Brianna's mum is in this room every week. Shame.
“Marching as an honest man when there is no responsibility.”
Brianna's mother Esther was not in the public gallery for the exchange between the two leaders to answer Prime Minister's Questions, but arrived shortly after.
Brianna's former head teacher, Emma Mills, accompanied Esther Key during her visit to Parliament.
He told BBC Breakfast: “We were late in the gallery and missed what was said, and I don't think she really had time to look at the context and what was said properly, and she wishes she had some time. She's able to do that today.”
Sixteen-year-old Brianna was dragged to a park and stabbed 28 times.
Asked about the comments on Thursday, council leader Benny Mordant said Mr Sunak was a “good and caring man”, adding: “I'm sure he reflected on things.
“It's not just about Mr and Mrs Key he has to think about, but he also reflects on people who are trans or have trans loved ones and family, some of whom are sitting on these green benches.
“I hope the Leader of the Opposition will also think about his actions.
“This government has been right at every step of protecting the safety and dignity of women, and at every step of doing so has sought to bring certainty and certainty to transgender people.
“This government is right to hold the opposition accountable for its many contradictions and u-turns in its policy platform.”