January 27, 2023

A SENIOR Nats MP called on the Scottish government to repeal the controversial gender identity law.

Angus McNeil said the bill, passed by MSP last month, poses “a threat to women, especially those in vulnerable situations.”



Angus MacNeil urged the Scottish government to repeal the bill.1 credit
The controversial bill passed last month despite nine SNP MPs voting against the government.


The controversial bill passed last month despite nine SNP MPs voting against the government.1 credit

The Western Isles MP’s comments came amid an uprising by the SNP against the Nicola Sturgeon government’s plan to allow anyone aged 16 or over to change their sex on their birth certificate within six months simply by signing a legal statement.

The UK government is still considering blocking the bill from going into effect due to its impact on UK-wide equality rules.

Mr McNeil, chairman of the Commons International Trade select committee, said he was concerned “not with transgender people” but with “unscrupulous actors” who “may masquerade as transgender people and invade women’s safe space.”

He said: “Trans people deserve respect and dignity, but this law is not about that.

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UK government warns it could block SNP gender bill minutes after it passes

“This poses a threat to women, especially vulnerable women in safe places, and this is clearly wrong.

“But I emphasize that this is not about the rights and dignity of transgender people, but about those who pretend to be transgender in order to gain access to safe places for women. Any legislation that creates this loophole is a concern.

“This is a problem created in Scotland and it must be solved in Scotland. It should be removed and scrapped.”


Holyrood passed the Powder Keg Act by a vote of 86 to 39 the week before Christmas amid protests in Parliament.

Nine MSP SNPs opposed this largest uprising since the party came to power, but the plans were supported by Green, the Liberal Democrats and all but two Labor MSPs.

The law – if it gets into the law books – will allow people to identify themselves as members of the opposite sex without a medical diagnosis, unlike the current UK-wide process, which is only open to people aged 18 and over and takes two years.


Critics say men who abuse the system could put women and girls at risk, but supporters accuse opponents of bigotry towards transgender people.

The UK government says the Holyrood Act could affect the definition of “gender” in UK-wide equality rules, which will impact services and employers across the UK.

He can effectively veto the law as he influences reserved matters, leading to inevitable litigation.

MSP SNP Stephanie Callaghan, Kenneth Gibson, Ruth Maguire, John Mason, Ash Regan, Michelle Thomson. Jim Fairley and Annabelle Ewing voted against the bill last month.

MP Joanna Cherry KC has been an outspoken critic.

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