A WOMAN ejected from a committee meeting on transgender law reform for wearing a Suffragette scarf has received an apology on behalf of the Scottish Parliament from the presiding officer.

Alison Johnstone said the decision by security to ask the woman to remove the scarf and the subsequent decision to prevent her from re-entering the meeting were errors.

The woman had been attending a meeting of the Equalities Committee which was discussing controversial changes to the law around transgender people changing their sex on official documents.  

She apologised on behalf of the Parliament and emphasised that colours associated with the campaign for women’s right to vote were not banned from the building.

Visitors are banned from wearing clothes and accessories with political banners or flags on them – but Johnstone said this did not include the purple, green and white colours of the Suffragettes.

READ MORE: Committee shut down over Suffragette scarf row in trans rights meeting

The purple, white and green colours were used by women's rights campaigners in the early 20th century and are now often used by gender-critical feminists opposed to gender recognition reform. 

Before the meeting of Holyrood’s main debating chamber on Tuesday began, Johnstone told MSPs: “I wish to address an issue which occurred at the Equality, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee this morning, which members may be aware of and which members have raised with me.

“At that meeting, a visitor to the public gallery was asked to remove a purple, green and white scarf.

“Having declined to do so, the visitor was informed that she would not be able to return to the gallery.

“This request was made by officials in connection with the Parliament’s code of conduct for visitors, which sets out that the display of banners, flags or political slogans – including on clothes and accessories – is forbidden.

“Let me make one thing crystal clear – suffrage colours are not and never have been banned at the Scottish Parliament.

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“We actively support and promote universal suffrage in a number of ways at Holyrood and we will continue to do so.

“I would like to advise the chamber that the action taken this morning was not prompted by any members of the committee.

“The action taken was an error and I would like to apologise on behalf of the Parliament.

“The wearing of a scarf in those colours does not in itself breach the visitors’ code of conduct.

“The Parliament wishes people to engage with the democratic process, including observing elected representatives debate and make the law of the country.”