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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP


The SNP Government is considering its next steps, as the UK Government imposed a Section 35 Order to block the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill recently passed at Holyrood.

In 24 years of devolution, this is the first time the UK Government has tried to block Scottish legislation this way.

Regardless of where people stand on the issue of gender recognition legislation, The First Minister is absolutely right when she says that moves to block Scottish laws in this way is “an affront to democracy.”

The UK Government has only now provided a ‘Statement of Reasons’ for the Section 35 Order, which Scottish Ministers are scrutinising.

Social Justice Secretary, Shona Robison MSP, has made clear that the SNP Government will seek to uphold the democratic decisions of this Parliament and will deliver an update to parliament soon.

Labour First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford MS, agrees with the SNP Government that the moves to block Scottish Parliament legislation in this way sets a "very dangerous precedent" for devolution (which you can see in the clip below).

Speaking in the Senedd, he also suggested his ministers may back Scotland if this matter reaches the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Labour Branch Office Manager in Scotland, Anas Sarwar MSP, was posted missing from Holyrood when the UK Government made the move, with the views of his MSPs ignored by Keir Starmer.

At Westminster only 11 Labour MPs voted with the SNP to hold an emergency debate on the issue, while the rest heroically abstained.

Click on the photo above to watch the exchange.


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