Rishi Sunak admits concern over Nicola Sturgeon’s gender reforms

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Speaking on first visit to Scotland, PM says it is ‘entirely reasonable and standard’ to look at blocking controversial Bill.

Nicola Sturgeon and Rishi Sunak
Nicola Sturgeon said her meeting with Rishi Sunak had been perfectly constructive and cordial’ CREDIT: Simon Walker/Number 10 Downing Street/via Reuters

Rishi Sunak has attempted to dial down a row over Nicola Sturgeon’s controversial gender reforms, but said he was concerned about their impact.

Speaking on his first visit to Scotland as Prime Minister, Mr Sunak said it was “entirely reasonable and standard” to look at blocking the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, with a final decision expected next Wednesday.

Despite the UK Government never having previously used its powers to veto a Scottish Parliament Bill, Mr Sunak said this would follow “a very long-established, a completely standard, process”.

But he admitted he was worried about the potential impact of the legislation on the rest of the UK, with the matter raised at a private informal dinner with Ms Sturgeon at the Kingsmills Hotel and Spa in Inverness on Thursday evening.

It is feared the Bill will undermine women’s rights in England’s schools, hospitals and prisons if men travel north of the border to more easily change their legal gender.

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Mr Sunak also dismissed Ms Sturgeon’s plans to use the next general election as a “de facto” independence referendum, giving her a mandate to open divorce negotiations with the UK Government if nationalist parties win more than 50 per cent of the popular vote.

The Prime Minister said that “people vote for all sorts of things in general elections” and he would campaign on “delivering the people’s priorities”, such as tackling the cost of living crisis and the problems facing the NHS.

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Rishi Sunak admits concern over Nicola Sturgeon’s gender reforms

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