A minister has called for “respectful and measured” language to be used by politicians after Rishi Sunak made a jibe about Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on transgender issues while the mother of murdered Brianna Ghey was in parliament.
So far, there has been no apology from the government for the prime minister’s remarks, despite Brianna’s father calling them “degrading” and “absolutely dehumanising”.
Mr Sunak was criticised for aiming a political jibe about transgender people at Sir Keir, saying the Labour leader had broken promises on “defining a woman” while Brianna’s mother, Esther Ghey, was in parliament.
Politics latest: Labour ‘to scale back £28bn green prosperity plan’ today
Chris Philp, the policing minister, refused numerous times to apologise for the prime minister while speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning – despite the fact Ms Ghey’s family had asked for one.
However, he said: “I think there is a wider point here for politicians, for journalists, for everybody to keep in mind when there are very sensitive issues being discussed, to always use respectful and measured language, lest there are unintended consequences.”
When asked for an apology, Mr Philp said Mr Sunak was talking about Sir Keir “flip-flopping” on issues – and that the prime minister later paid “very fulsome tribute” to Ms Ghey.
Brianna, 16, was murdered by Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe who were both 15 when the schoolgirl was stabbed to death in a Cheshire park last February.
Last week, Jenkinson was jailed for at least 22 years and Ratcliffe for a minimum of 20 years. The pair, who are both 16, will be transferred to adult prisons when they turn 18.