JK Rowling blasts frontrunner to replace Sturgeon in fresh trans row

JK Rowling and Humza Yousaf

JK Rowling attacked Humza Yousaf on Twitter

Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 24/03/2023

- 13:46

The author attacked the frontrunner over his pledge to protect women’s rights

JK Rowling challenged frontrunner Humza Yousaf as she accused him of backing legislation that would allow rapists to be housed in women’s prisons in her latest trans row.

The Scottish leadership candidate shared a photo of himself on Twitter as he held a large cardboard cut-out of a pink heart with the words “Upholding Rights”.

Yousaf pledged to “advance women’s rights” should he become First Minister next week as he set out the measures he would take which includes improving support for sexual offence victims and having a gender-balanced Cabinet.

Harry Potter Author, Rowling responded to his tweet saying: "What a lovely pink heart. Now tell us why you voted down the amendment to stop rapists being housed in women’s jails, Humza Yousaf."

JK Rowling at a press event

JK Rowling accused Humza Yousaf of backing legislation that would allow rapists to be housed in women’s prisons


Rowling added the names of three high-profile transgender criminals - Isla Bryson, Katie Dolatowski and Paris Green.

Scottish Health Secretary Yousaf is the only one of three leadership candidates to back Sturgeon’s controversial legislation to allow people to self-identify their legal gender.

Kate Forbes, the finance secretary has said she would have voted against the bill if she had not been on maternity leave.

Ash Regan resigned as community safety minister so she could oppose it.

The bill was blocked by the UK Government over concerns it undermined women’s safe spaces.

However, Yousaf said he wants to go to court to get the veto overturned if he becomes the new SNP leader.

Transgender double rapist Isla Bryson caused uproar when she was sent to Cornton Vale women’s prison after being convicted in January.

The decision was based on the Scottish Prison Service guidance that existed at the time, which said trans criminals should be sent to the prison that matches their self-identified gender that they were living in prior to their conviction.

\u200bHumza Yousaf

Humza Yousaf pledged to “advance women’s rights” should he become First Minister


Rowling’s tweets refer to amendments during the passage of the legislation at Holyrood which would have added safeguards.

But they were voted down by SNP and Green MSPs including Yousaf.

Russell Findlay, a Tory MSP, had tabled an amendment that would have banned convicted sex offenders from self-identifying as a woman.

Responding to Rowling's tweet, Findlay said: “Humza Yousaf has made a career out of cynical and shameless political opportunism and was a cheerleader for Nicola Sturgeon’s dangerous and flawed gender self-ID bill.

“So the women of Scotland whose valid concerns were so arrogantly dismissed by Sturgeon will not be fooled by this virtue-signalling PR stunt.”

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