Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott told Sky News that Brianna Ghey’s mum Esther had said she did not want to make her daughter’s death ‘about trans issues’
A Tory Cabinet minister has appeared to invent comments by Brianna Ghey’s mum in a desperate bid to defend Rishi Sunak.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott toured TV and radio studios in support of the PM after he was criticised for making a trans joke on the day Esther Ghey attended Prime Minister’s Questions. The bereaved mother is campaigning for new rules on social media for kids following the murder of her 16-year-old daughter.
As she appeared on Sky News, Ms Trott suggested Ms Ghey had said her daughter’s killing was not related to her being transgender. “Did you see the interview with Esther, Brianna’s mum this weekend?” the Cabinet minister asked host Sophy Ridge. “She said that she did not want to make it about trans issues, this is not what this was about and we I think that we should respect that.”
However, during the interview on the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg programme on Sunday, Ms Ghey had said she believed that transphobia had been a “contributing factor” as she talked about Eddie Ratcliffe, one of her daughter’s killers.
“I believe that with Eddie, there was hate there, there was hate for trans people,” she said. “But I also think that he is a hateful boy, and I think that he would hate many people, regardless. So whether it was – I think it was a contributing factor, but I think he’s just a hateful person.”
At a sentencing hearing last week, the judge Mrs Justice Yip had told Ratcliffe: “I… find that you both took part in a brutal and planned murder, which was sadistic in nature and where a secondary motive was hostility towards Brianna because of her transgender identity.”
Mr Sunak is facing calls to resign for making the joke about trans people as Ms Ghey visited Parliament. Campaigners accused the PM of being “callous” as he refused to apologise and Downing Street insisted his remarks were “legitimate”.
At the beginning of Prime Minister’s Questions, Keir Starmer praised Ms Ghey’s “unwavering bravery” just days after two teenagers were jailed for the murder of her 16-year-old daughter last year. But just minutes later, Mr Sunak accused Mr Starmer of failing to stand by his commitments and U-turning on “defining a woman”.
“Although, in fairness, that was only 99% of a U-turn,” he joked as he referenced comments the Labour leader previously made when he said 99.9% of women don’t have male genitalia. As Tory MPs howled with laughter, Mr Starmer said: “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.” Ms Ghey who had been due to watch PMQs arrived in the gallery of the House of Commons chamber shortly after the exchange.