ALL three SNP leadership candidates have committed to a ban on conversion therapy in Scotland.

Humza Yousaf, Ash Regan and Kate Forbes have all spoken about their pledge to see the practice – which seeks to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity – outlawed.

However, The National understands that Forbes is the only one of the three yet to respond to a letter from the campaign group End Conversion Therapy Scotland calling for the candidates to formally spell out their commitment.

ECT Scotland asked for the candidates’ responses to the following four questions:

  • Will you support a bill banning conversion practices in Scotland?
  • Will you commit to bring forward legislation for a ban on conversion practices by the end of 2023?
  • Will you commit to an inclusive ban that prevents these practices being carried out on people based on either their sexuality or gender?
  • Will you commit to ensuring there are no exemptions to this ban on “consent” or based on the settings which it is carried out?

In his response to the letter, Yousaf said he “fully support[s] the end to conversion therapy in Scotland”.

He added: “I will continue to support the acceleration of legislation to ban it if elected first minister of Scotland. I share the same concerns … and only wish to add for emphasis and clarity that I believe there is no place for conversion therapy in a modern Scotland.”

Reports over the weekend suggested Yousaf had been alone in responding to the letter, but The National understands that Regan had attempted to, however, technical issues had prevented delivery.

READ MORE: Kate Forbes: Conversion therapy ban must respect people of faith

Regan has told ECT Scotland she supports a bill banning conversion practices, but added: “I have yet to see the bill as it currently stands, but in principle this is something that the government I lead will introduce.”

She committed to bring forward legislation by the end of 2023, and to a ban on conversion therapy for gender as well as sexual orientations “in principle”.

Regan also said she “in principle” supported ensuring there are no exemptions to such a ban based on “consent” or the setting in which it is carried out.

Speaking to The National on Monday, Forbes said that she “fully intends” to reply to the ECT Scotland letter but there are “about 500 emails” a day coming into her inbox.

Asked if she supported a “complete ban on conversion therapy”, Forbes said: “I support a ban on conversion therapy.”

Asked if that ban included trans people as well as LGB people, Forbes said: “I support a ban. I do not think anybody should be subjected to coercion … I’ve said quite unequivocally in every interview that I’ve been asked that I think conversion therapy is abhorrent and I do not think people should be coerced.”

A spokesperson for ECT Scotland said they were “disappointed that Kate Forbes has not responded to our letter”.

They went on: “Conversion therapy on the basis of sexuality and gender identity, and in all its forms, is abhorrent. These practices are coercive and abusive by their very nature. They have no place in Scottish society.

"It is crucial that whoever is to become our next first minister acts decisively to end these practices."