By John Lamont MP
For many months, I have been contacted by a lot of local residents worried about the gender reforms being pursued by the SNP Government. Local people, especially women, are concerned about the potentially dangerous consequences of the Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) Bill and the current government policies on gender self-identification.
But in recent weeks, since SNP ministers allowed a double rapist to enter a women’s prison, the number of people raising their fears with me has increased dramatically. The case of the sex offender Adam Graham, who now wants to be known as Isla Bryson, has ignited public fury across the Borders and all of Scotland.
People are livid that this dreadful person was ever allowed into a women’s prison. They are enraged that SNP ministers let it happen, even though the rapist in question only chose to change gender after being charged by the police.
My own disgust at this case was provoked further when listening to the words of one of the victims of this vile criminal. She was absolutely clear that this attempt to change gender was disingenuous, fake and all an act to get easier treatment.
Eventually, under pressure from the Scottish Conservatives, Nicola Sturgeon was forced into a humiliating u-turn and removed this offender from a women’s prison. But somehow, the SNP leader still can’t bring herself to admit that this rapist is not a woman.
Every time, she dodges the question if Isla Bryson, formerly Adam Graham, is male or female. Sturgeon realises she has lost the Scottish public on this issue and is desperately trying not to make it worse by admitting the reality.
But the truth is that Nicola Sturgeon, somehow, unbelievably, considers this sex offender to be a woman. Even though he raped two women, Sturgeon's government's policies are explicit that this criminal should be considered a woman.
The public think it is utterly ridiculous to let a rapist claim to be a woman purely because he says so. But that is Nicola Sturgeon's policy, and it has real-world consequences for women's rights and safety in the future.
When Isla Bryson gets out of prison, this abhorrent offender will be able to force his way into women's spaces. Once more, this rapist will be able to target and traumatise women.
If that happens, and it will be possible under the current SNP government policies, Nicola Sturgeon should hang her head in shame.