Evening Telegraph (First Edition)
Called out by Rowling
HARRY Potter author JK Rowling has called out SNP leadership hopeful Humza Yousaf after he tweeted about defending women’s rights.
Mr Yousaf, who is in the race to replace Nicola Sturgeon as first minister, posted a list of pledges on social media, but Ms Rowling criticised his promises over the debate around trans prisoners.
Mr Yousaf’s tweet listed some of the things he would do to improve gender equality alongside a photograph of himself holding a giant pink heart with the message “upholding rights”.
Ms Rowling retweeted the message and asked: “Now tell us why you voted down the amendment to stop rapists being housed in women’s jails.”
The vote Ms Rowling is referring to is the SNP’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which was passed in December 2022 but blocked by the UK Government.
Ms Rowling has been an outspoken critic and branded Nicola Sturgeon a “destroyer of women’s rights” over the Bill.
Shortly after the gender reform Bill was passed, double rapist Isla Bryson was sent to Cornton Vale women’s prison after they claimed they were a trans woman.
There was fierce public backlash, and the SNP came under harsh criticism before Ms Bryson was transferred to a male prison.
However, as the SNP’s gender reforms have not been made into law, the proposed legislation has no bearing on Ms Bryson being initially placed in a women’s prison.
Mr Yousaf was asked for his opinion on the Isla Bryson case during a leadership debate on the BBC by opponent Ash Regan.
Ms Regan resigned from her position as community safety minister so she could vote against the reform Bill.
The third candidate in the race, Kate Forbes, also said she would not have voted for the government’s bill but was on maternity leave at the time and missed the vote.
Mr Yousaf said: “Isla Bryson should not be in a women’s prison.
“Isla Bryson is a rapist who’s completely at it.
“I don’t think they’re a genuine trans woman. I think they’re trying to play the system.”
He added: “What we should never do is, because we have a despicable individual like Isla Bryson who plays the system, we shouldn’t roll back the rights of 99.9% of trans women who commit no crime whatsoever.”
Mr Yousaf has been approached for comment.