SNP 'prepares to rip up Sturgeon's gender bill' after First Minister's shock resignation

16 February 2023, 00:32

Nicola Sturgeon stepped down on Wednesday
Nicola Sturgeon stepped down on Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The SNP is set to rip up Nicola Sturgeon's gender bill after her shocking resignation as First Minister.

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Ms Sturgeon announced that she would be stepping down on Wednesday, saying in her "head and in my heart" she knew the time was right to step down.

She said she believed "part of serving well is almost instinctively when the time is right to make way for someone else" and "having the courage to do so" when that time arrives.

Despite not mentioning the recent trans row that engulfed her final days in the role, her plans to change the law on gender self-identification are now set to be ditched by the SNP, it is understood.

The controversial bill proposed allowing anyone over the age of 16 to legally change their sex without consulting a doctor.

Sources in Holyrood are now suggesting the bill will be dropped quickly and quietly, according to the Telegraph.

Read more: Who could become Scotland's next First Minister? Runners and riders to replace Nicola Sturgeon

Read more: 'Privilege of my life': Nicola Sturgeon says 'nothing will come close' to being First Minister after shock resignation

One party source told the paper that Ms Sturgeon’s divisive trans policies had been a big factor in her downfall.

“We need to get back on track by pursuing things that matter to the people of Scotland, not pushing stuff that the public is vehemently opposed to," they said.

“I expect the gender reforms to be parked somewhere as quickly as possible. Any sensible new leader will want to get that off the front pages, and quickly.”

The Gender Recognition Reform Bill was previously passed despite concerns from some politicians, women's rights groups and others that the changes could impact on safe spaces for females, with Ms Sturgeon and her Government repeatedly rejecting such claims.

But the UK Government used its veto to block the reforms, with Scottish Secretary Alister Jack using Section 35 of the Scotland Act due to "serious adverse effects" on the operation of UK-wide equalities legislation.

Ms Sturgeon was highly critical of the Westminster Government's move, insisting there was "not an iota of good faith on the part of the UK Government on this issue" and that there was "no justification" for blocking the bill.

Nicola Sturgeon resignation: What happened and what next

Speaking at Bute House on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon said: "This decision is not a reaction to short term pressures," admitting it could "easily look like that."

She added: "I have been wrestling with it... for some weeks. Essentially, I've been trying to answer two questions - is carrying on right for me and more importantly is me carrying on right for me, my party and the independence cause I have devoted my life to?"

She described the job as "a privilege beyond measure, one that has sustained and inspired me in good times and through the toughest hours of my toughest days".

Nicola Sturgeon’s historic career as First Minister

Reacting to Ms Sturgeon's shock resignation, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "My thanks go to @NicolaSturgeon for her long-standing service.

"I wish her all the best for her next steps. We will continue to work closely with the @scotgov on our joint efforts to deliver for people across Scotland."

Meanwhile, former US president Donald Trump was quick to criticise her leadership.

"Good riddance to failed woke extremist Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland," he said.

"This crazed leftist symbolises everything wrong with identity politics.

"The wonderful people of Scotland are much better off without Sturgeon in office."

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