British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is visiting the United States for two days
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. AFP News

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has come under fire for allegedly making "demonising" remarks about the transgender community.

The latest controversy involving Sunak erupted after a video of him mocking one of his opponents for supporting trans rights went viral on social media. The video was sourced by Pink News and shows the prime minister mocking Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey by making jokes about "women having penises."

The remarks were made during a speech at a party with the 1922 Committee on June 5, 2023. The meeting was attended by Veteran's Affairs Minister Johnny Mercer, Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, and Desmond Swain, MP for New Forest West, among others.

In the leaked video, he could be heard saying: "It shows his spectacular misjudgement and why he's completely unfit to lead our country." It is not clear who he was referring to here.

"Over the same period of time, you might have noticed Ed Davey has been very busy," Sunak continues. "Like me, you can probably see that he was trying to convince everybody that women clearly had penises.

"You'll all know that I'm a big fan of everybody studying maths to 18, but it turns out that we need to focus on biology." The video has been widely shared on various social media platforms, with people demanding an apology from the prime minister.

His comments have not gone down well with social media users in and outside the UK. "I forget... what grown up attributes was @RishiSunak supposed to be bringing back into government? Bigotry, hate and transphobia?" wrote a Twitter user.

Another asked for his resignation while lashing out at him for his insensitive remarks. "Hey @RishiSunak. Your resignation tomorrow will be accepted. The fact that you think that behind closed doors you can mock the people you are in power to serve shows your true colours. You and your party have to go!" he added.

"Disgusting little man. Rishi Sunak mocks trans women in leaked video footage. I absolutely guarantee this bunch also laugh at Black, Asian, Gay, Disabled and poor people when they have their get togethers. And yes - he will laugh at his own. Putrid person," added another.

Kate Osborne, Member of Parliament for the constituency of Jarrow, also took to Twitter to take a dig at Sunak for his comments. She accused him of "escalating a culture war" and "throwing trans people under the bus to distract from the Tory made cost of living crisis."

Some have also come forward in his defence, highlighting how he was simply stating a biological fact and that it is being blown out of proportion. Meanwhile, the prime minister's spokesperson has issued an explanation highlighting how the joke was aimed at his rival and not at the community.

"You've heard the prime minister talk about his enormous compassionate understanding for people questioning their identity and that they should be treated with dignity and respect," explained his spokesperson in a statement.

"On this specific issue, these are points he's made in interviews, publicly ... My understanding is that this was a joke aimed at a political opponent rather than a specific group," they added.

In January, Sunak's government blocked a gender law proposed by the Scottish Parliament. The law allowed transgender people to change their gender without providing a medical diagnosis. The UK government vetoed it stating that it violates national equality laws.

The Scottish Parliament only has the authority to pass laws on issues related to healthcare, education, and the environment. The UK Parliament can veto Scottish bills under Section 35 of the Scotland Act.

The UK government is also in the process of forming guidelines for how teachers should deal with transgender issues in schools, per a report in The Guardian.