Westminster Government Could Block Scottish Trans Bill

Rishi’s Westminster government could try and block Scotland’s incredibly controversial gender recognition bill, which was passed by a majority of votes in Holyrood. At present the bill would remove the need for Scottish people – including 16 and 17-year-olds – to obtain a gender recognition certificate without the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. Women’s rights campaign groups have been up in arms over the threat to single sex spaces…

Following the passing of the bill, however, the Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has warned it may not progress to royal assent, and that the government could block it. He said:

“We will look closely at that, and also the ramifications for the 2010 Equality Act and other UK wide legislation, in the coming weeks – up to and including a Section 35 order stopping the Bill going for Royal Assent if necessary.”

A source close to Kemi Badenoch – the Equalities secretary who has been incredibly scathing of the legislation – also tells Guido:

“Kemi’s overriding concern is the safety of women and girls. The SNP have pushed this Bill through without any thought to its wider implications.”

Brace for SNP chuntering about ‘constitutional crisis and outrage’…

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Supreme Court’s Sturgeon Blow, Scottish Government Laws Ruled Unlawful

The Supreme Court’s just dealt a surprise blow to the Scottish government, siding with the UK government and determining parts of two Sturgeon bills to be outside the legislative competence of the Scottish parliament. The UK government’s law officers had initiated legal proceedings over concerns that the two bills were not about their policy objectives, and instead would place legal obligations on UK government ministers in reserved areas, affecting the government’s ability to make laws for Scotland. ‘Whoops’ doesn’t quite cover it. 

Alister Jack has hailed the Supreme Court’s decision. In a wider context, the ruling proves the Supreme Court is still keen on ensuring the Scottish government sticks to the boundaries of its legal competence – a ruling that should dissuade Sturgeon from thoughts about holding an illegal second referendum without Boris’s approval. Och aye the oh no…

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Scottish Secretary Slams Sturgeon: She Should Grow Up and Stop Being Different on Coronavirus “For the Sake of It”

This morning saw a very confrontational Scottish Select Committee, with Secretary of State Alister Jack not pulling any punches when slamming Nicola Sturgeon’s approach to tackling Coronavirus; claiming the devolved government has been “different for the sake of it” in its response to Covid in an attempt to advance an “agenda“, calling on the First Minister to be “grown-up”. Brave…

Later in the meeting Jack faced a very testy argument from Committee Chair Pete Wishart over next year’s Holyrood elections, with Wishart saying “there’s no chance whatsoever the Scottish Conservatives are going to win next May’s election”. A charge that resulted in the Scottish Secretary calling the SNP “arrogant”…

Playing nicely then…

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