A CLYDEBANK councillor has quit the SNP over her opposition to the party’s passing of reforms to gender recognition legislation.

Diane Docherty, who represents Clydebank Central and is the sister of MP Martin Docherty-Hughes, will now sit as an independent.

Docherty-Hughes resigned from his role as SNP chief whip on Tuesday citing personal reasons, but said he continues to support the gender legislation.

The Clydebank Post reports that Docherty quit the SNP because the party led on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, passed by the Scottish Parliament in December.

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However, Westminster has now said it will block the legislation from becoming law.

Docherty declined to comment.

Docherty was first elected in 2016 and re-elected last May.

There have been two public consultations on gender reforms and six years of discussions since an overhaul was first backed by the SNP.

The gender recognition reforms are meant to simplify a legal process that has existed since 2004 for legally changing gender. 

It currently requires two years of living in the acquired gender and a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

But the reform would cut the time to three months and allow self-declaration from the age of 16.

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Some opponents fear it will impact the newer Equality Act and have raised concerns over women-only safe spaces. 

Councillor Karen Conaghan, SNP group leader in West Dunbartonshire, said: “The subject has been an emotive one, and whilst we disagree with her position, we respect Diane’s right to her own views on this.

“Given her long-term commitment to the party, we are all disappointed that she’s chosen to leave the SNP over this issue.”

Clydebank SNP organiser Ronald MacDonald said: “Diane is a personal friend and will remain a good friend.

“As the one who convinced Diane to stand for council I am pleased that she became an excellent councillor for the people of her ward, and I am sure she will continue to represent her constituents well.”

Former council depute leader, Caroline McAllister, left the SNP in 2021 for the breakaway Alba Party and cited “women’s rights” as a core reason.

Support or opposition to trans lives has split all political parties. The Tories previously backed reform of gender recognition under Theresa May, but now are mostly against, apart from a few Tory MSPs.

Scottish Labour backed the GRR but then Labour leader Keir Starmer voiced his opposition to a key provision at the weekend.

A small number of SNP MSPs voted against reforms in December but the overwhelming majority of the Parliament approved the measures.