The former Labour PM said ‘every Prime Minister makes mistakes’ – and admitted he’d had to say sorry himself on ‘one or two occasions’ as he urged Rishi Sunak to say sorry
Gordon Brown has told Rishi Sunak to apologise for making a jibe about transgender people while Brianna Ghey’s mum was in Parliament.
The former Labour PM said “every Prime Minister makes mistakes” – and admitted he’d had to say sorry himself on “one or two occasions”. Brianna’s father, Peter Spooner, demanded Mr Sunak apologise for the “degrading” and “dehumanising” remarks he made during during Prime Minister’s Questions. But Mr Sunak has refused to apologise, insisting his comments were “absolutely legitimate”.
Asked about the row, Mr Brown said: “Well, when I made mistakes, I did apologise. And look, every Prime Minister makes mistakes. I don’t think you can say that every Prime Minister will fail to make some mistakes, but I think you should apologise if you get things wrong and I mean it is a very sad and really tragic, tragic case of a family in grief.”
He told Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge on Sky News: “I know, he’s said he’s compassionate about the family, but perhaps he should do what I had to do on one or two occasions and apologise. And I do accept that if you make mistakes, you’ve got to correct them quickly.”
Mr Sunak yesterday attacked Mr Starmer over his stance on “defining a woman” while the mother of murdered transgender teenager Brianna was in Parliament. The shocking exchange came just moments after the Labour leader welcomed Esther Ghey, who was due to appear from the public gallery at Prime Minister’s Questions. Mr Starmer praised her “unwavering bravery” just days after two teenagers were jailed for the murder of 16-year-old Brianna last year.
As Mr Sunak launched into his attack lines at PMQs, he accused Mr Starmer of failing to stand by his commitments and U-turning on “defining a woman”. Mr Starmer replied: “Of all the weeks to say that when Brianna’s mother is in this chamber – shame. Parading as a man of integrity when he’s got absolutely no responsibility.” Other MPs also shouted “shame” while one could be heard saying: “Disgusting.”
In a comment on her Peace & Mind UK Facebook page, Ms Ghey said: “I don’t wish to comment on reports of wording or comments recently made. My focus is on creating a positive change and a lasting legacy for Brianna.
“Through Peace & Mind, we want to improve lives by empowering people, giving them the tools they need to build mental resilience, empathy, and self-compassion through mindfulness. In developing these skills, I hope that we can create a more understanding, peaceful, and stronger society for everyone.”