JK Rowling blasts SNP frontrunner Humza Yousaf over women’s rights
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JK Rowling has hit out at SNP leadership hopeful Humza Yousaf over women’s rights. The Scottish Health Secretary took to Twitter to share a photo of himself holding a pink heart with the slogan “Upholding Rights”.
In his tweet, Mr Yousaf pledged to “advance women’s rights” if he wins the race to replace Nicola Sturgeon as Scottish First Minister and set out six measures he would take.
But the Harry Potter author retweeted Mr Yousaf’s post and said: “What a lovely pink heart.
“Now tell us why you voted down the amendment to stop rapists being housed in women’s jails.”
The author’s response was in reference to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which was passed by Holyrood last December but blocked by Westminster in January due to concerns over the impact on UK-wide equalities law.
The controversial legislation was designed to make it easier for people in Scotland to change their legal gender.
But women’s rights campaigners fear the impact the changes could have on single-sex spaces.
During its passage through the Scottish Parliament, Tory MSP Russell Findlay tabled an amendment to prevent convicted sex offenders being allowed to change their gender.
But the amendment was voted down by SNP MSPs including Mr Yousaf.
Responding to Ms Rowling’s tweet, Mr Findlay told the Telegraph: “Humza Yousaf has made a career out of cynical and shameless political opportunism and was a cheerleader for Nicola Sturgeon’s dangerous and flawed gender self-ID bill.
“So the women of Scotland whose valid concerns were so arrogantly dismissed by Sturgeon will not be fooled by this virtue-signalling PR stunt.”
Mr Yousaf is the only one of the three candidates running to succeed Ms Sturgeon who backs the Bill.
Ms Rowling, who has previously come under fire for her views on transgender issues but strongly denies accusations of transphobia, has been a vocal critic of the gender reforms.
During a debate on Times Radio earlier this week as part of the SNP leadership race, the three candidates were asked about the Harry Potter author, who was pictured wearing a T-shirt last year that described Ms Sturgeon as a “destroyer of women’s rights” over her push to reform the Gender Recognition Act.
All three agreed that Ms Sturgeon has not destroyed women’s rights, but both Kate Forbes and Ash Regan described her as “brave”, while Mr Yousaf said he “takes exception” with the assertion.
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