IN RECENT weeks we have seen the gloss seriously come off the SNP – and the First Minister.

In December, the SNP, Greens, Labour and Liberal Democrats passed the Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

This bill would have allowed anyone aged 16 or over in Scotland to legally change gender without the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

While I passionately believe in equality for trans people, I could not support these measures.

This was rightly blocked by the UK Government on the advice of its lawyers. The UK Government offered to sit down with Scottish Ministers to resolve the issues.

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Before the bill was passed, the Scottish Conservatives proposed numerous safeguarding amendments – all voted down by the SNP, Greens and Liberal Democrats.

But instead of working with the UK Government, Nicola Sturgeon intends to go to the courts, at great cost to the public purse.

Earlier this month, a convicted rapist claimed to be a transgender woman called ‘Isla Bryson’ and was remanded in a woman-only prison, prompting urgent safeguarding concerns.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the transferral of Bryson to a male prison and a ‘temporary pause’ on the movement of transgender woman prisoners with a history of violence against women.

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The SNP has brought forward deeply flawed legislation. They are doing it to drive conflict with the rest of the UK.

But we shouldn’t be surprised by the SNP’s tricks.

In last week’s Courier, Paul McLennan and Colin Beattie focused on independence while ignoring the £11 billion a year cost that independence would present during the current cost-of-living crisis. It’s increasingly clear they just don’t get it.