THE Scottish Government has issued a response after a report suggested the UK Government could block new misogyny legislation from becoming law. 

Humza Yousaf previously confirmed that trans women will be protected under any new misogyny legislation in Scotland.

He said that “anyone affected” by the issue would be covered no matter their biological sex with the Scottish Government aiming to introduce a bill on the matter before the end of the current parliamentary term in 2026.

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However, a report in the Sunday Mail has suggested the UK Government could once again be willing to block Scottish legislation.

A source told the newspaper: “Scottish Secretary Alister Jack (below) has already humiliated the Scottish Government once by kiboshing the GRR bill and he is more than willing to do so again.

The National: File photo dated 15/03/22 of Scottish Secretary Alister Jack who has said "It is not possible for the next general election to be a de facto referendum on Scottish independence." Issue date: Thursday July 7, 2022.

“The Conservatives can see SNP gender policy is completely out of step with public opinion and there are also legitimate concerns over whether Scottish legislation on the issue could have a detrimental impact on existing UK law.

“If it is the case that a Scottish misogyny law was going to water down the definition of what a woman actually is to the extent that existing protections for women could be weakened rather than strengthened, then the UK Government will act to block it.”

Jack blocked the Scottish Government’s gender reforms from becoming law by issuing a Section 35 order, despite the legislation being passed by an overwhelming majority of MSPs.

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The Scottish Government then went on to lose a court challenge on the grounds the bill would alter the UK-wide Equality Act.

When approached for comment on the story by The National, a spokesperson for the Scottish Government pointed to a review from Baroness Helena Kennedy.

They said: “Baroness Kennedy’s report was clear in recommending that the proposed offences in a Misogyny Bill should apply where the victims are ‘women, or those who perpetrators perceive to be women’.

“This aligns with existing legislation protecting people from abuse that is motivated by prejudice.

“For example, a perpetrator motivated by religious prejudice could be criminalised for threatening a victim because he believes they are Sikh.

“This is based on the perpetrator’s perception – the victim does not have to be Sikh for a crime to have been committed.”

This echoes comments made by Yousaf (below) to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme.

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He told the broadcaster: “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.”

The National also approached the Scotland Office for comment and a spokesperson for the UK Government said: “The UK Government considers all Scottish Parliament legislation in the context of the devolution settlement.

“Any legislation on misogyny would be considered in the usual way at the appropriate time.”