HUMZA Yousaf has hit back at JK Rowling amid a row over the Scottish Government’s upcoming misogyny bill – saying people should look at the “facts”.

It comes after the First Minister said that “anyone” affected by misogyny would be protected by the new misogyny legislation, including trans people.

He told the BBC: "Women and girls will be protected, and trans women will be protected as well, as they will often be the ones who suffer threats of rape or threats of disfigurement for example.

"When a trans woman is walking down the street and a threat of rape is made against them, the man making the threat doesn’t know if they are a trans woman or a cis woman. They will make that threat because the perception of that person [is] as a woman."

Harry Potter author Rowling, who has been a vocal critic of the new Hate Crime Act – which includes transgender identity as a protected characteristic, claimed Yousaf was demonstrating an “absolute contempt for women”.

She wrote on Twitter/X: “Women were excluded from his nonsensical hate crime law, now he introduces a 'misogyny law' designed to also protect men.”

Rowling said that trans women, whom she called “trans-identified men”, would “receive double protection”.

But responding on the same platform, Yousaf said: “The faux outrage claiming trans women have double protection under the law because of who they are is as ludicrous as being upset that a disabled, black woman has triple protection under the law …

“Bad faith actors are intent on turning every issue into a culture war. Let’s not allow them to divide our society into those who are worthy of protection from hatred and those who are not.”

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Speaking to press on Wednesday, Yousaf further said allegations of “contempt for women” were “astonishing”.

He said: “It’s an astonishing accusation, to suggest that the government that’s bringing forward a bill to tackle misogyny has contempt for women doesn't make any logical sense.

Yousaf went on: “What I would say to people, everybody, is, unfortunately, we are living in a day and an age where not only is disinformation being spread, but clearly many issues end up becoming cultural war issues – and they shouldn't be.

“This is an issue I would encourage anybody to simply look at the facts.”

Yousaf pointed to Baroness Helena Kennedy KC, who led a review which informed the creation of the misogyny bill and who supports the legislation also covering trans women.

The SNP leader further highlighted a thread on Twitter/X by Jonathan Brown KC, which he said “actually set out some of the facts”.

Brown had written: “This may be an unpopular view, but if the misogyny bill is going to have an aggravation for misogyny then logically it will have to be capable of applying to trans women, if the evidence supports the inference that the offender did in fact perceive the complainer as female.

“That is the approach taken to other aggravations. Effeminate straight men are commonly the victim of offences motivated by homophobia. Sikhs receive Islamophobic abuse. Darker skinned caucasians receive racist abuse. Protestant Celtic supporters receive anti-Catholic abuse.

“In general we focus on the motivation we impute to the perpetrator. It matters not whether the motivation was the product of his mistake as to whether the complainer truly possessed the characteristic in question.”

Sex was not included in the Hate Crime Act as the Scottish Government opted instead to draw up separate legislation for misogyny.

Yousaf added: “That's all I ask people to do. Look at the facts and what we've got in the proposed misogyny bill, which we will, of course, seek to bring forward as soon as we can.”