A SCOTTISH Labour frontbencher dropped out of hosting and attending a gender critical event following a formal complaint to the party.

Pauline McNeill, MSP for Glasgow region, was due to hold an event titled “The Meaning of Sex Under the Equality Act 2010”, alongside representatives from Sex Matters, in Holyrood next week.

Scotland’s gender reforms, which would have introduced self-identification for transgender people, were passed with cross-party support at the end of last year.

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However, the UK Government used a Section 35 order to block the legislation from Royal Assent and becoming law. The UK Government said that the reforms would affect UK-wide equality laws, with the decision now subject to a legal challenge from the Scottish Government.

McNeill, Scottish Labour’s justice spokesperson, has been critical of the reforms, did not vote on the final stage of the bill in December last year, alongside Michael Marra and retained her spokesperson role.

Carol Mochan and Claire Baker, who both voted against the reforms, lost their front-bench positions.

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McNeill was due to co-host the event with SNP MSP Ash Regan (pictured above), who resigned from her role as community safety minister over her opposition to the reforms.

The event is due to include contributions from controversial gender critical activists, including Maya Forstater, barrister Noami Cunningham, Michael Foran, a legal academic at Glasgow University, and Helen Joyce, author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality.

Sex Matters was founded by Forstater and Cunningham, and is currently campaigning to amend the UK Equality Act to include biological sex as a protected characteristic.

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According to reports, the event would have been subject to “Chatham House rules”, where information can be taken from the discussion, but not attributed to any of the attendees.

However, McNeill has now pulled out of the event after a formal complaint.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Pauline McNeill MSP will not be attending or hosting this event.”

Joanna Cherry, an SNP MP and vocal gender critical campaigner blasted the decision on social media.

“What a disgrace,” she wrote. “Discrimination and silencing of free speech should have no place in Scotland’s parliament. Many [lesbian, gay and bisexual] people and indeed some [transgender] are gender critical.

“Our rights to be same-sex attracted are not conditional on accepting gender identity theory.”

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The Scotsman reported that the complaint said the timing of the event and its invite, which was sent on the first day of Pride Month and to all MSPs, “appears to be a deliberate attack on trans people and their allies”.

A Scottish Labour source told the newspaper it was the right decision for McNeill to step away from the event, but added it should never have been organised in the first place.

They said: "This is the right decision, but Pauline should never have organised it in the first place and I hope she apologises publicly for it.”