A TORY MSP has called on Nicola Sturgeon to apologise during a debate about the Cass Review in Holyrood.

On Wednesday, MSPs debated a Tory motion calling on the Scottish Government to implement all 32 recommendations of Dr Hilary Cass’s review into gender identity healthcare for young people provided by NHS England.

During a debate in which Conservative MSPs repeatedly referred to the existence of transgender people as an “ideology”, Tory MSP Meghan Gallacher said ignoring the review’s findings would be “unforgivable”.

However, Tory MSP Murdo Fraser took the adversarial tone of the debate even further when he called on Nicola Sturgeon to apologise.

“We should not be permitting the mutilation of young bodies in the name of an anti-science ideology,” he said.

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“Those who committed these atrocities and those in this place and elsewhere who stood by and let this happen or worse still actively encouraged it, should not be forgiven.

“Members might recall some years ago in a debate on the SNP’s programme for government.

“When I referred to the fact that I’d met women outside this parliament protesting against the Gender Reform Bill.

“I was heckled by the former first minister Nicola Sturgeon from a sedentary position with the words ‘shame on you’.

“Well, Presiding Officer I feel no shame whatsoever for speaking up for the rights of women and girls.

“Any shame that follows to be apportioned should be laid firmly at the door of the former first minister, her ministers and all in here who allowed this abuse to occur in furtherance of a toxic ideology.”

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He then called on Sturgeon (above) to apologise.

Earlier in the debate SNP MSP Jenni Minto confirmed that Scotland’s chief medical officer will deliver a report on the implications of the Cass Review into gender care services before the end of June. 

She added that said the Government was funding research from Glasgow University on gender care services and a multi-disciplinary team in the chief medical officer's directorate was examining the implications of the Cass Review for Scotland.

Dr Cass herself appeared at a Holyrood committee on Tuesday where she noted to that the “toxic” nature of the debate was causing “fearfulness” amongst healthcare practitioners.

Scottish Greens MSP Gillian Mackay said the debate was “premature” and claimed the report was being “weaponised”.

“We do have to be aware that this was a review of services and treatment pathways in NHS England," she said. 

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“As many have said in the chamber before not all will be applicable to Scotland and in fact some may be irrelevant given it was an analysis of a different health service. Hence why I believe this debate is at best premature.

“Many have hailed this report as the end of gender-affirming care but Dr Cass at the Health, Social Care and Sport committee yesterday confirmed that both puberty blockers are the correct way forward for some children and young people who are seeking gender identity care.”

Indeed, SNP MSP Maree Todd urged MSPs to focus on points of agreement concerning the sensitive issue of gender identity care for children.

“I think we can all recognise that the nature of how we talk about these issues, including here in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament, really matters,” she said.

“It matters because toxic and polarised discourse does nothing to serve young people who are questioning their gender nor those young people accessing gender identity healthcare nor their families nor the staff working hard to care for them.

“There is much I think we can agree on across this chamber. We agree that children and young people and their wellbeing is at the heart of all our concern here. That’s why we welcomed the Cass Report.

“That’s why a senior clinical team within the office of the chief medical officer of the Scottish Government is already giving careful consideration to each recommendation in the context of how NHS services in Scotland work.”

Todd was then challenged by Tory MSP Sandesh Gulhane on which recommendations would not be applicable in Scotland.

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She explained that numerous recommendations contained mentions of statutory instruments that only exist in England or otherwise could not be applied to Scotland.

“It is absolutely clear to everyone in this chamber that NHS Scotland is different from NHS England.

“We have different structures and it is simply not possible to adopt all 32 recommendations.

“I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the recommendations and the full report provide evidence that we can learn from in NHS Scotland but it is simply wrong to suggest that we can wholesale adopt all 32 recommendations.”