PMQs: Sunak launches ferocious attack on Starmer for failing to back own MP in trans row as he defends record
Published: 01/02/2023- 12:26
Updated: 01/02/2023- 13:00
Rishi Sunak launched an attack on Keir Starmer over the treatment of his own MP as the Labour Leader pressed the Prime Minister on Dominic Raab’s bullying allegations.
During Prime Minister's Questions, Starmer quizzed the leader of the Tory party about the handling of allegations relating to Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab.
Starmer told the Commons: “So in relation to his former chair, his defence is: nobody told me, I didn’t know, I didn’t ask any questions. Is the Prime Minister now also going to claim that he’s the only person completely unaware of serious allegations of bullying against the Deputy Prime Minister before he appointed him?”
The Deputy Prime Minister remains under investigation over alleged bullying of civil servants after an investigation was launched in November.
Keir Starmer questioned Sunak about his Deputy Prime Minister's bullying allegations
House of Commons
Sunak compared his actions to the Labour leader’s handling of the row over MP Rosie Duffield’s stance on trans issues.
He said: “The honourable gentleman ask these questions about what was known and I followed due process, I appointed an independent adviser as soon as I was made aware of new information.”
“But if he is so concerned about what people are saying and so concerned about behaviour in public life, then recently one of his own MPs was forced to speak out because being in his party had reminded her of being in an abusive relationship.
“And then his own office was caught undermining her. He ought to be supporting her and her colleagues, but if he can’t be trusted to stand up for the women in his party, he can’t be trusted to stand up for Britain.”
Rosie Duffield said the Labour party reminded her of a previous abusive relationship
The gender row erupted when Duffield said being in the party reminded her of a former abusive relationship she had been in after she faced criticism for her position on women’s rights in the face of transgender identification changes.
She accused male party colleagues of trying to drown her out in the Commons when she spoke to back the Government’s move to block gender reforms proposed in Scotland.
The questions over Sunak’s handling of Raab’s position came after Downing Street would not comment on whether he was told about informal complaints made about the Justice Secretary during his ministerial career.
Sunak has resisted calls to suspend his Deputy Prime Minister while the investigation is carried out.