A LEADING LGBT charity has slammed reports that the UK Government is planning a “spiteful” block of Scotland’s gender reform legislation.

Stonewall have said any interference will not only impact on the UK’s international standing, but also “undermine” the relationship with the Scottish Government.

It comes after reports in the Sunday Times that claimed Rishi Sunak and his government are poised to intervene by blocking the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from being given Royal Assent rather than referring the matter to the Supreme Court, a move threatened by Scotland Secretary Alister Jack in the wake of the bill passing.

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Meanwhile, the UK Government’s social care minister told Sky News that she had “concerns” about the legislation and refused to rule out ministers blocking the bill, adding that the final decision will be taken by the Cabinet.

The Scottish Government has said it will “vigorously” contest any challenge, as Stonewall stated that intervention from the UK would be “disastrous” for trans people in Scotland.

Colin Macfarlane, the LGBT charity’s director of nations, said in a statement that the reforms had an overwhelming mandate, cross-party support and is one of the most consulted upon in the Scottish Parliament’s history.

The majority of MSPs from the SNP, Scottish Greens, Scottish Labour and LibDems, and three Tory MSPs, backed the reforms in December last year, with the Tories having the most MSPs opposing the reforms.

The party also dragged the final stage debate on the legislation into a third day, much to the fury of MSPs who supported the reforms and accused the Tories of “s***housery”.

Macfarlane added: “The bill has been subject to extensive, appropriate scrutiny that has closely considered safeguards and interaction with UK-wide legislation, with almost 150 amendments debated and voted on.

The National: Jack is reportedly 'reviewing' the bill with equalities minister Kemi BadenochJack is reportedly 'reviewing' the bill with equalities minister Kemi Badenoch

“In May this year, the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee undertook 10 weeks of detailed evidence hearings on the proposals, hearing from a wide range of witnesses both supporting and opposed to the reforms.

“The UK Government has had more than six years to engage constructively with the Scottish Government over the proposals.

“For the UK Government to seek to block implementation of this Act would be disastrous for trans people, who deserve far better from their government.

“It would also profoundly undermine relationships with the Scottish Government and damage the UK’s international reputation as a rights respecting nation.”

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Macfarlane added that it would “hamper progress” on LGBT rights and undermine Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s vow to “govern with compassion”.

He said: “The UK Government already recognises equivalent birth certificates from all EU/EEA countries, including countries which have a de-medicalised model of legal gender recognition, so to refuse to recognise Scottish certificates would be a mistake, fly in the face of international best practice, and come across as spiteful.

"We hope this is not the approach the Prime Minister wishes for the UK Government to take."

The Times reports that Scotland Secretary Alister Jack has received legal advice on how the UK can block the reforms. The National approached the Scotland Office for confirmation, but a spokesperson declined to comment.

However, on Sky News, UK social care minister Maria Caulfield said that Jack and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch are “reviewing” the bill.

Asked how far the UK Government will go to stop the reforms, Caulfield told the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “Well, that would be a matter for Cabinet and as you say, the Scottish Secretary and Kemi Badenoch, the equalities secretary, are looking at that and having discussions because Conservatives were the only party that voted against that legislation.

“We do have concerns but that will be a matter that will be discussed at Cabinet before the final decision is taken.”

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The Scottish Government said: “The bill as passed is within legislative competence and was backed by an overwhelming majority, with support from all parties. Any attempt to undermine the democratic will of the Scottish parliament will be vigorously contested.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: "Our concerns include the protection of single sex spaces, and the checks and balances included in the process of gaining a legal gender recognition certificate.

"We are still considering our next steps, and also the ramifications for the 2010 Equality Act and other UK wide legislation. No decision has been made on a course of action at this time."