SCOTTISH Labour have been accused of “running scared” and trying to “play both sides” on trans rights after refusing to clarify their position on self-ID.

Scottish Greens MSP Maggie Chapman wrote to the party’s only Scottish MP Ian Murray in July calling on him to set out whether or not the party leadership north of the border backs self-identification and the use of a Section 35 order to block Holyrood’s gender reforms from becoming law.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack blocked the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from getting Royal Assent at the beginning of the year.

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It comes after Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar refused to say in recent weeks if he would vote for the legislation again, despite his party backing the reforms and the party's MSPs being whipped to vote in favour of it.

Sarwar was accused of being a “f****** disgrace” after claiming the Scottish Government did not go far enough on amendments relating to sex offenders or single-sex spaces and misrepresenting his approach to moving adaptations to the bill at the time.

Meanwhile, UK Labour leader Keir Starmer has said he is opposed to self-ID.

Chapman wrote to Murray (below) on July 25 asking for clarification after Annelise Dodds, shadow secretary for women and equalities, wrote an article in the Guardian U-turning on Labour’s commitment to self-ID.

The National: Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray speaking on the second day of the Scottish Labour Party Conference at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. Picture date: Saturday February 18, 2023..

In a letter shared with the Sunday National, she wrote: “Would a future Labour government in Westminster respect the right of the Scottish Parliament to legislate on this and other areas or would you seek to keep the Section 35 Order in place?

“Would Scottish Labour MPs support the self-identification principle like the vast majority of your Party’s MSPs did, or would they be expected to support the far more conservative and medicalised route advocated for by Annaliese Dodds?”

A month after hearing no response from Murray, Chapman said she was “disappointed” at his refusal to answer “very basic questions”.

She added that the policy was backed by the overwhelming majority of Labour MSPs - two voted against and two did not record a vote - and was also included in the manifesto the Edinburgh South MP was elected on in 2019.

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Chapman told the Sunday National: “Self-identification is used around the world. It is normal.

“As the British Medical Association has said, the question of whether somebody is trans or not should not be a painful and medicalised process.

“Yet, since I wrote to Mr Murray we have seen even greater backtracking from his Party colleagues. I was particularly concerned to see Anas Sarwar implying that he would no longer support the policy that he voted for.”

Labour, Chapman (below) added, scrapped Section 28 and introduced equal marriage, playing an important role in advancing equality legislation in the past.

The National: Maggie Chapman

“Now they are running scared and trying to play both sides at a time when they should be standing with our trans community, who have been the target of a grotesque smear campaign,” she added.

“What happens in the months ahead will have a direct impact on the rights and lives of trans people in Scotland and beyond, and it is vital that all progressive parties play their part.

“We cannot allow the rights and lives of trans people to be cast aside or used as a pawn in a reactionary culture war.”

Ian Murray and Scottish Labour have been contacted for comment.