SCOTTISH Secretary Alister Jack has confirmed the UK Government will seek expenses from the Scottish Government for the Section 35 legal battle.

It comes as the Scottish Government confirmed that it would not be challenging the Supreme Court's decision that the use of a Section 35 order was lawful.

The Tory minister had hinted in recent weeks that he would be seeking expenses, but following Shirley-Anne Somerville's statement on Wednesday confirmed the UK Government would begin the process. 

Jack  said: “I welcome the Scottish Government’s acceptance of the Court’s judgment, which upheld my decision to prevent their gender recognition legislation from becoming law.

READ MORE: Scottish Government officially scraps gender reform legal appeal

“The Scottish Government chose to pursue this litigation in spite of the cost to the taxpayer. These resources would have been better spent addressing the priorities of people in Scotland - such as growing the economy, cutting NHS waiting lists and improving our children’s education.

“The UK Government now intends to lodge an application with the Court seeking our expenses in defending this matter.”

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STV has reported that the total cost of the legal bill will come to £150k.

Online, independence supporters expressed their anger.

Professor Paul Middleton described the move as "petty".

"Whatever one thinks of the bill, it would have been irresponsible for the Scottish Government not to have challenged an unprecedented veto of entirely competent legislation," he wrote. 

"This is both petty and pathetic from a man who clearly didn't understand the bill he was told to block."

Wings Over Scotland, a vocal opponent of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, said the move was an example of the UK "kicking [an] opponent when they're down". 

Student Connor McDonald wrote: "So overruling out Parliament wasn’t enough, we’re now being charged for the privilege."

Elizabeth Harkins added: "Oh so petty! What about the PPE contracts Jack???"

In January, Jack made the unprecedented move of using a Section 35 order to block the GRR bill, which was passed by a two-thirds majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament in December 2022.

The bill sought to simplify the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) in Scotland by removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, lowering the age threshold for applicants, and reducing the time people are required to live in their acquired gender before being eligible for a GRC.

Ministers vowed to fight the Section 35 order in the courts.

READ MORE: How to read the full Lady Haldane ruling on Scottish gender bill block

However, earlier this month the Court of Session ruled that the UK did have the right to block the reforms.

The Scottish Government then had 21 days to appeal the decision.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville announced on Wednesday that the Scottish Government would not be appealing the decision by the Supreme Court.

 She added that she understood some transgender people would be disappointed by the decision not to contest the ruling. 

"To them, I say this. The Scottish Government will never waver in our commitment to your rights. 

"You deserve to be respected, included and supported. You are not a threat and you will always be able to live your lives free from prejudice and abuse in a type of Scotland we all want to see." 

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.