RISHI Sunak was condemned for a “shameful” joke about trans people made while the mother of murdered trans teenager Brianna Ghey was thought to be sat in the public gallery of Parliament.

The Prime Minister was met with heckles of “shame” and “disgusting” when he accused Keir Starmer of changing his position on “defining a woman”.

Starmer had earlier paid tribute to Brianna’s mother Esther, saying: “This week the unwavering bravery of Brianna Ghey’s mother Esther has touched us all.

"As a father, I can’t even imagine the pain that she is going through and I am glad that she is with us in the gallery here today.”

READ MORE: Teenage murderers of Brianna Ghey named after guilty verdict

The Labour leader then attacked Sunak for failing to bring down NHS waiting lists, saying: “[The Prime Minister] says he stands by his commitments. He once insisted if he missed his promises, these are the words he used, ‘I am the Prime Minister,’ and then he said ‘it is on me personally’.”

Starmer added: “So, what exactly did he mean when he said it is on him personally if he doesn’t meet his promise?”

The Prime Minister replied: “We are bringing the waiting lists down for the longest waiters and making progress, but it is a bit rich to hear about promises from someone who has broken every single promise he was elected on.

“I think I have counted almost 30 in the last year. Pensions, planning, peerages, public sector pay, tuition fees, childcare, second referendums, defining a woman, although in fairness that was only 99% of a U-turn.”

His trans jibe was met with outrage from opposition MPs.

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.”

He added: “I think the role of the Prime Minister is to ensure that every single citizen in this country feels safe and respected. It’s a shame that the Prime Minister doesn’t share that.”

It was later confirmed that Esther Ghey was not in the public gallery for the exchange but entered shortly afterwards. 

Labour backbencher Liz Twist later called on the Prime Minister to apologise to Brianna’s mother for the “insensitive” comment.

Sunak did not respond.

LGBT charity Stonewall has also demanded an apology from the PM. A spokesperson said: "For the Prime Minister to use trans people as a punchline, in front of the grieving mother of a murdered trans child, was cheap, callous and crass.

"The disrespect and dehumanisation of trans people that we see played out daily in the media and in our political discourse has real life consequences and it has to stop." 

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak bets Piers Morgan £1000 on Rwanda deportation plan

Last year, Brianna was murdered at the age of 16 in a park in Cheshire by then-15 year olds Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe.

Last week, Jenkinson was sentenced to 22 years, while Ratcliffe was jailed for 20 years. 

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme, Esther Ghey won plaudits when she said she would be open to meeting Jenkinson's mother. 

She said: “I’d like to understand more how their life was and what they went through. I also want her to know that I don’t blame her for what her child has done."

At the conclusion of PMQs, Sunak addressed Esther's presence saying: "If I could just say also to Brianna Ghey’s mother who is here, as I said earlier this week, what happened was an unspeakable and shocking tragedy.

“As I said earlier this week, in the face of that, for her mother to demonstrate the compassion and empathy that she did last weekend, I thought demonstrated the very best of humanity in the face of seeing the very worst of humanity.

“She deserves all our admiration and praise for that.”

Downing Street defended Sunak, and Number 10 declined repeatedly to apologise for his language. A spokesperson told press that it was part of a “legitimate” criticism of Labour.

A spokesperson said: “If you look back on what the Prime Minister was saying, there was a long list of u-turns that the leader of the opposition had been making.

“I don’t think those u-turns are a joke, it is quite serious changes in public policy. I think it is totally legitimate for the Prime Minister to point those out.”

Elsewhere in the session, Sunak was criticised for betting £1000 with TV presenter Piers Morgan that deportation flights to Rwanda would take off before the election.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said it made the Prime Minister look “out of touch”.

The Aberdeen South MP said: “The bet to which we are referring was worth £1000 and it came just hours after the Prime Minister ended cost of living support worth just £900, and his justification was that the cost of living crisis is easing.”

He added: “What does he believe leaves him looking most out of touch with the public: gambling £1000 or believing that the cost of living crisis is getting better?"

Speaking after the session, Flynn said he had attended a meeting with Esther facilitated by Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner. 

He tweeted: "Esther’s humility and strength is inspirational. As for the Prime Minister, he once again degraded his office today. It will not be forgotten."