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This Morning guests row over Rishi Sunak's trans jibe

Ashley James and Nick Ferrari clashed over comments from Prime Minister's Questions during a discussion on Thursday's This Morning.

Watch This Morning guests row over Rishi Sunak's trans jibe

What did you miss?

This Morning guests Ashley James and Nick Ferrari have had a heated row over Rishi Sunak's trans joke at Prime Minister's Questions.

Former Made In Chelsea star James took on LBC host Ferrari over his apparent defence of the prime minister after a jibe made at Sir Keir Starmer backfired and sparked a debate about treatment of the trans community.

Sunak was criticised for making the joke while murder victim Brianna Ghey's mother Esther sat in the House of Commons for PMQs on Wednesday.

What, how, and why?

Ashley James and Nick Ferrari clashed on This Morning over Rishi Sunak's trans jibe
Ashley James and Nick Ferrari clashed on This Morning over Rishi Sunak's trans joke. (ITV screengrab)

Ashley James and Nick Ferrari are no strangers to clashing during This Morning's headlines segment, having locked horns in recent shows over whether men or women have a harder time at work.

But presenter James arrived in the studio on Thursday ready to take on Ferrari over his apparent defence of prime minister Sunak's joke during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, and a row broke out.

Sunak had said of Labour leader Starmer: "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 per cent of a U-turn."

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves number 10, Downing Street ahead of the weekly PMQ session in the House of Commons, on February 07, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak has been criticised for his comments. (Getty Images)

However, Starmer pointed out the inappropriateness of the jibe while Esther Ghey sat in the House, the mother of murdered trans teenager Brianna Ghey, and Ferrari has since argued that Sunak's comments were not malicious.

James began on Thursday's This Morning: "I know we are going to argue about this because you are currently trending on Twitter for what you said defending Rishi Sunak. Before she was murdered for being trans, Brianna Ghey's parents had to listen to politicians mock and degrade the trans community constantly. Questions like this, 'what is a woman'. We currently are on our knees, and Rishi Sunak goes on and on about what a woman is."

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Ashley James attends the premiere of Channel 4's
Viewers praised Ashley James. (Getty Images for Lupus Films)

She continued that "the trans community are not to blame for violence against women and girls" and added "language really matters, Brianna really matters and the trans community matters".

But Ferrari fought back: "You say I defended him, what he said was wrong. It was ill-advised and he shouldn't have said it. However, he is not a malicious man, he is making a political point. It was ill-judged, once he knew the mum was in the House he certainly shouldn't have said it. He did it for political reasons."

James told him: "It shouldn't have mattered if she was in the House or not. This language needs to stop," as Ferrari replied: "Of course, he didn't attack for goodness sake. I wouldn't be supporting him for a second. What he was on the attack on, was Sir Keir's inability to stick to a policy. He shouldn't have said it but it didn't come from a position of malice."

James accused Sunak of "stoking culture wars", with hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary eventually stepping in to bring an end to the discussion.

Nick Ferrari celebrates his twentieth anniversary as the host of LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast show, at the Global Studios, London. Picture date: Friday January 5, 2024. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nick Ferrari argued the comments were not malicious. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Hammond said: "It is a vulnerable group and we do have to be sensitive to that," while O'Leary added: "We could talk about this for an hour and we should move on."

Viewers praised James' argument, with one writing on X: "Ashley James is brilliant on This morning! Especially loved today, standing up for the trans community."

Someone else commented: "Well said Ashley! Nick should be ashamed of himself keep defending Sunak. More of Ashley’s common sense please."

Another person added: "If anyone wants to know what a true ally is, watch @ashleyljames educating Nick Ferrari on today’s @thismorning explaining why our despicable Prime Minister’s words at PMQs are completely unacceptable!"

What else has been happening on This Morning?

Michelle Visage spoke out on working with Giovanni Pernice. (BBC)
Michelle Visage spoke out on working with Giovanni Pernice. (BBC)

Earlier this week, Michelle Visage weighed in on the Strictly Come Dancing row about Giovanni Pernice's tough training style when she was asked about working with him in 2019.

She said: "Uh oh. I don't like gossip, so I'm not here to gossip, but what I can say from my experience was yes, he's tough.

"He's probably the toughest pro there is. I wanted that. So it depends, some people can handle that, some people don't want to handle that. I wanted that."

She added: "We fought every day, and it was for good reason because we got to where we wanted to be, we looked beautiful together."

This Morning airs on ITV at 10am on weekdays.

Read more: Brianna Ghey