Scottish Labour are “running scared” and “trying to play both sides” when it comes to trans rights and equality, the Scottish Green party have claimed.
Labour have been called to declare where they stand on the principle of demedicalised self-ID for trans people and the UK Government’s use of a Section 35 Order to block Scottish Parliament legislation.
Ian Murray MP, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, has not yet responded to a letter from Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman asking for clarity over the party’s stance on the issues.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has refused to say if he would still support the Gender Recognition Reform despite having voted for the reforms in December last year.
Chapman’s letter followed a number of statements by senior UK Labour politicians including the Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, expressing opposition to the issue.
Ms Chapman said: “It is very disappointing that Ian Murray is yet to reply to what are extremely basic questions about a policy that was rightly supported by the overwhelming majority of Labour MSPs and that was in the manifesto he was elected on in 2019.
“Self-identification is used around the world. It is normal. As the British Medical Association has said, the question of whether somebody is trans or not should not be a painful and medicalised process.
“Yet, since I wrote to Mr Murray we have seen even greater backtracking from his Party colleagues. I was particularly concerned to see Anas Sarwar implying that he would no longer support the policy that he voted for.”
She continued: “From scrapping Section 28 to introducing equal marriage, the Labour Party has played an important role in advancing important equality legislation. Now they are running scared and trying to play both sides at a time when they should be standing with our trans community, who have been the target of a grotesque smear campaign.
“What happens in the months ahead will have a direct impact on the rights and lives of trans people in Scotland and beyond, and it is vital that all progressive parties play their part. We cannot allow the rights and lives of trans people to be cast aside or used as a pawn in a reactionary culture war.”
STV News has contacted Ian Murray and the Scottish Labour Party for comment.