SNP politicians have been pictured at a pro-trans rally standing in front of a sign reading “Decapitate Terfs” sparking fierce criticism.

Terfs refers to a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” but is often used as a catch-all term for anyone critical of or opposed to the trans-rights movement.

Glasgow Kelvin MSP Kaukab Stewart and East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald were pictured in front of the threatening sign at a rally outside the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday morning.

Police have said enquiries were ongoing in relation to a complaint the force received about the sign. 

READ MORE: MPs join hundreds protesting against gender bill block in Glasgow

Joanna Cherry, the SNP MP for Edinburgh South West and an outspoken critic of her party’s transgender law reforms in Holyrood, said: “I’m sure my colleagues didn’t realise they were standing in front of a hateful sign threatening violence against women and will distance themselves from it.

“I’m due in court again soon to give evidence against a trans rights activist who threatened to kill me.”

The sign, in red and blue bubble writing, also featured an illustration of a guillotine.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said he had reported the sign to the police, saying carrying it was "clearly a hate crime and a public order offence". 

He added: “Good grief [Nicola Sturgeon], should your MP and MSP [Kirsten Oswald] and [Kaukab Stewart] really be standing under a banner with a guillotine and this the slogan ‘Decapitate Terfs’? And this is meant to be ‘progressive’?”

His party colleage Jamie Halcro-Johnston said the picture was “shameful”.

He tweeted: “Scotland in 2023 - where SNP politicians stand smiling in front of a banner which calls for violence against women. Shameful.”

Chris McEleny, the general secretary of the Alba Party, said: “If only SNP members of Parliament turned out to pro-independence rallies like they do to the rallies they pose in front of “decapitate terfs” banners.

READ MORE: Scottish independence poll sees HUGE lead for Yes amid Section 35 row

“Thankfully their party have been very vocal about campaign code of conducts so I am sure [Nicola Sturgeon] will suspend them.”

The party has said neither politician was aware of the sign when they were photographed. 

An SNP spokesperson said: "SNP MSPs and MPs attended today’s protest in defence of Scottish democracy and the rights of trans people.

“Violent or hateful language - of any kind – is unacceptable and has no place in the peaceful movement for LGBT equality and democracy.”

The rally was held to protest the UK Government’s decision to take the unprecedented step of stopping a Holyrood bill from being officially signed into law.

It means the Scottish Gender Recognition Reform Bill is in legal limbo. It is widely expected the Scottish Government will take Westminster to court over the decision.

But UK ministers are insistent the law treads on reserved powers. If a court finds they are right, a challenge will fail.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said there were no arrests made during the protest, adding: "We have received a report regarding a sign which was displayed during a rally on Buchanan Street, Glasgow on Saturday, January 21, 2023.

"Enquiries are ongoing."