ALISTER Jack has welcomed the Court of Session’s ruling that the UK Government can block Scotland’s gender reforms from becoming law.

The Scottish Secretary made the decision to use a Section 35 order to prevent the Gender Recognition Reform Bill from becoming law, despite it being supported by a majority of MSPs.

The unilateral decision was challenged by the Scottish Government, but a Court of Session ruling on Friday said it was lawful.

Welcoming the ruling from Lady Shona Haldane, Jack said: “I welcome the court’s judgment, which upholds my decision to prevent the Scottish Government’s gender recognition legislation from becoming law.

READ MORE: Read the full ruling as court says UK Government CAN block Scottish gender bill

“I was clear that this legislation would have had adverse effects on the operation of the law as it applies to reserved matters, including on important Great Britain-wide equality protections.

“Following this latest court defeat for the Scottish Government, their ministers need to stop wasting taxpayers’ money pursuing needless legal action and focus on the real issues which matter to people in Scotland – such as growing the economy and cutting waiting lists.”

The Scottish Conservatives, who were the only party in Holyrood not to support the reforms, also welcomed the ruling.

Meghan Gallacher (below), the group's depute leader, called on the SNP to "listen to the court".

The National: EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - APRIL 18 : Scottish Conservative deputy leader Meghan Gallacher responds to First Minister and SNP leader Humza Yousaf's a statement in the Scottish Parliament setting out the priorities of the Scottish Government, as the

She said: “This is a humiliating defeat for Humza Yousaf and the SNP, who have once again squandered taxpayers’ cash on a self-serving but doomed court case.

“Their reckless Gender Recognition Reform Bill is deeply unpopular with the Scottish public because its self-ID principle compromises the safety of women and girls – as the case of a double-rapist being sent to a female prison demonstrated.

“In addition, the bill impacted on equalities law south of the border, which is why the UK Government had no option but to issue a Section 35 Order.

“Rather than taking that as a cue to redraft their flawed bill, the SNP dug their heels and turned an issue of women’s safety into another constitutional grievance – a cynical tactic which has backfired today.

READ MORE: Cabinet Office refuses to say if Union committee has even MET under Rishi Sunak

“Humza Yousaf must now listen to the court, as well as the court of public opinion, not appeal this ruling and ditch the Bill for good. We all want to see the lives of trans people improved but that can’t come at the expense of the hard-won rights of women and girls.”

Writing on Twitter/X, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: "The SNP choose to turn an issue fo women's safety into a constitutional grievance - wasting taxpayers' money on a self-serving and doomed court case. 

"Humza Yousaf must listen to the court, and to the public, and ditch his government's gender self-ID bill."

Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray (below) commented: “It is disappointing that this legislation ended in the courts but this ruling should be respected.

“It is shameful that after years of debate, trans people feel no more protected and women no more reassured.

The National:

“This is another demonstration of why both governments have to work together rather than spending taxpayers’ money fighting in courts and pitting communities against each other.”

Maggie Chapman, the Scottish Greens MSP and equality spokesperson, said the ruling showed the "huge limitations and constraints on devolution".

"This is a devastating day for equality. It is a democratic outrage, crushing basic rights and equality for some of Scotland’s most marginalised people," she said.

“It is horrible, it is heartbreaking and it is unjust. It makes a mockery of any vote or decision that we as parliamentarians take at Holyrood from now on, if the result is knowing that Westminster will veto anything they don’t like."