AUTHOR JK Rowling has said she is "looking forward to being arrested" when she returns to Scotland in a warning over the Hate Crime Act.

The Harry Potter author, who has become a fierce critic of the Scottish Government’s stance on transgender rights, has been one of the highest profile critics of the legislation. She has now said the legislation is “wide open to abuse” in an April Fool's "joke" post.

The social media post was reposted by several Scottish politicians, including Alba's Neale Hanvey MP and Labour's Johann Lamont MSP. Hanvey said the law was an "April fools for a fool’s law", adding "Thank you, as ever @jk_rowling".

READ MORE: What is - and isn't - in Scotland's new Hate Crime Act?

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act came into effect on Monday, consolidating existing hate crime legislation and creating a new offence of stirring up hatred against protected characteristics.

However, women have not been given protection under the law, with the Scottish Government instead promising to bring forward legislation to tackle misogyny.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf hits back at Joe Rogan and Elon Musk over Scottish hate crime claims

But with the new act giving protection to transgender people, Rowling, who does not believe people can change their gender, insisted: “Freedom of speech and belief are at an end in Scotland if the accurate description of biological sex is deemed criminal.”

In the Twitter/X post, the writer argued: “It is impossible to accurately describe or tackle the reality of violence and sexual violence committed against women and girls, or address the current assault on women’s and girls’ rights, unless we are allowed to call a man a man.”

The National: Neale Hanvey sharing the post (above) the end of Rowling's post (below)

Criticising the new laws, she insisted that the “legislation is wide open to abuse by activists who wish to silence those of us speaking out about the dangers of eliminating women’s and girls’ single-sex spaces”.

Rowling added: “I’m currently out of the country, but if what I’ve written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment.”

However, First Minister Humza Yousaf has declared he is “very proud” of the new laws, saying they will help protect against a “rising tide” of hatred.

Yousaf has also insisted he is “very confident in Police Scotland’s ability in order to implement this legislation in the way it should”.

READ MORE: Does Scotland's new Hate Crime Bill ‘target’ artists?

It comes despite the force confirming more than an third of its officers have not yet completed an online training course in the new laws – with Deputy Chief Constable Alan Speirs saying that 10,000 of the force’s 16,000 plus officers have done so.

However Yousaf said Chief Constable Jo Farrell had “made it very clear the appropriate training is absolutely being provided”.

She said recently that the new laws will be applied “in a measured way”, promising there will be “close scrutiny” of how the legislation is enforced and what reports are received.

Speaking about the new legislation, the First Minister added: “Let’s remember of course that when it comes to stirring up offences of racial hatred, stirring up offences have existed since 1986, being policed with virtually no controversy whatsoever.”