TORY MSPs deployed every “cynical” strategy in their playbook in a bid to push gender reform legislation into the long grass – and it’s working.

On Tuesday, it took over an hour for MSPs to finally get to the first batch of amendments on the agenda, after Tory MSPs repeatedly raised points of order and other excuses. When it came to voting on amendments, they forced through every single one – even those from proposers who had decided not to move them, with a range of Tory MSPs moving them in their stead before they inevitably fell.

At one point, they forced a vote on whether or not to include “and” in a sentence.

Tories also insisted on forcing a vote on each of their own amendments, despite the likelihood that they would fall. It almost felt as if we were watching Westminster.

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By Wednesday, this tactic was still in play. The session was suspended for an hour while the Presiding Officer (PO) considered a request from Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton to allow further consideration of a legal ruling.

MSPs were given the deadline of December 12 for lodging any amendments to the gender reforms, but a day later Lady Haldane (in the Court of Session) ruled that “sex” is not limited to biological or birth sex in a decision relating to gender representation on public boards.

The PO pointed out Hamilton could have requested this over the course of the past week, and refused to allow the discussion to go ahead.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross also ended up in a row with deputy presiding officer Liam McArthur over the PO’s decision.

The National: Douglas Ross found himself in trouble with the deputy presiding officerDouglas Ross found himself in trouble with the deputy presiding officer (Image: Scottish Parliament TV)

Two MSPs from other parties told The National they believed Ross was trying to get himself thrown out of the Chamber, but a cool-headed McArthur warned he was “skirting close to contempt of Parliament” and told Ross to “move on”. Immediately afterwards, Roz McCall, one of Ross’s MSPs, called another point of order on the timetable.

Parliamentarians were spotted making late-night calls to their families during one of the comfort breaks, as the lengthy debate began to grind on some MSP’s nerves.

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One MSP told The National: “I’ll stay here all f****** night if I have to get this through, the Tory tactics are ridiculous, but we will get it passed.”

Another agreed, and claimed that the PO and her deputies were furious at Ross and his party’s tactics making a “mockery” of the Scottish Parliament.

One MSP fumed that the Tories were embarking on “shithousery” and claimed Hamilton’s attempt to extend proceedings were part of an extended bid to wreck the bill.

The Greens were particularly outraged. Maggie Chapman, who staged interventions and spoke against numerous amendments during the lengthy debates, said that the Tories should be “ashamed” of their “cynical and transparent” conduct.

She added: “It’s not an accident. They’ve known exactly what they are doing. It is yet another insult to our trans siblings, who have already been the target of vicious smears and disinformation.”