Naga Munchetty Clashes With Tory Minister In Angry Exchange Over Sunak Trans Row

The BBC presenter did not appreciate Chris Philp's explanation of the PM's controversial remarks.
Naga Munchetty clashed with Chris Philp this morning.
Naga Munchetty clashed with Chris Philp this morning.

Naga Munchetty was involved in an angry exchange with a Tory minister this morning as the pair locked horns over the Rishi Sunak trans row.

The prime minister is under huge pressure to say sorry after he made a jibe about Keir Starmer’s position on gender issues while the mother of murdered teenager Brianna Ghey watched from the public gallery.

As Sunak accused the Labour leader of changing his position on “defining a woman”, he added with a laugh: “Although in fairness that was only 99% of a U-turn.”

That was a reference to Starmer’s previous claim that 99.9% of women “haven’t got a penis”.

In response to Sunak’s comment, Starmer hit back: “Of all the weeks to say that. When Brianna’s mother is in this chamber. Shame.”

On BBC Breakfast this morning, policing minister Chris Philp was asked by Munchetty: “Do you think that jibe was appropriate when the mother of Brianna Ghey, Esther, was in the House?”

Philp said: “The prime minister wasn’t talking about trans issues, he certainly wasn’t talking about Brianna in that passage of PMQs. He was talking about Keir Starmer’s record of U-turns on a whole range of different issues.”

But the interview turned tense when Munchetty pointed out that Brianna’s father, Peter Spooner, has called Sunak’s comments “degrading” and “absolutely dehumanising”, and called on the PM to apologise.

Philp said: “I was very, very sad to hear about those comments from Brianna’s father yesterday when he made those. As I say, anyone who is interested in this issue should actually listen to the initial exchange.”

Munchetty then asked him: “So are you saying that Peter Spooner has misunderstood what Rishi Sunak has said?”

The minister replied: “I’ve got every respect for the views and feelings of a bereaved father.”

Asked if he should get an apology, Philp said: “I think people should listen to the clip [and] form their own view.”

Munchetty hit back: “He has listened to the clip. I cannot imagine that the father of a child who was murdered a year ago this Sunday has not listened to that clip, and I think it’s quite disingenuous for you to suggest he hasn’t.”

A clearly-annoyed Philp then said: “Hang on, I did not for a second suggest that.”

The presenter told him: “But my question to you was whether Peter Spooner would get an apology, not about people listening to the clip.”

Philp said: “I’ve already said repeatedly that the prime minister made no reference to any individual in his remarks yesterday - it was Keir Starmer who introduced the name of an individual.

“When the prime minister was aksed abour Brianna later on in PMQs, he paid a very, very warm tribute to Brianna and her family.

“What he was doing in the contentious exchange was talk about Labour’s policy positions. He listen 10 different areas. He touched on this one, as one of about 10, he didn’t make any reference to any individuals at all. It was Keir Starmer who then introduced that at the end.

“I think anyone who’s in any doubt about this should just listen to the clip and form their own view.”


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