Nicola Sturgeon savaged as JK Rowling brands bill her ‘poll tax’

Dan Wootton slams guest for 'belittling' threats against JK Rowling

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JK Rowling has launched a furious attack on Nicola Sturgeon, describing the SNP’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill as ‘the biggest assault on the rights of Scottish women and girls’ in her lifetime. The Harry Potter author compared it to Margaret Thatcher’s poll tax which caused riots across the country.

Ms Rowling has been very critical against the bill, which will make it easier for transgender people to change their legal sex.

Tweeting earlier today, she said: “The single biggest assault on the rights of Scottish women and girls in my lifetime and opposed by two thirds of voters. This is @NicolaSturgeon’s poll tax.”

The poll tax, which was officially known as the Community Charge, was introduced into Scotland by Margaret Thatcher Government in April 1989.

It was intended to replace domestic rates but was extremely unpopular with protests, including riots, and an organised campaign of non-payment.

Ms Rowling’s comments come just days before Scottish lawmakers hold a final vote on the bill next week. It is expected that the proposals will become law.

In her tweet she also referenced a new poll which YouGov has carried out for The Times.

The poll’s results show that two thirds of respondents were opposed to the central pillars of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

Voters were sceptical about the both the idea that people would be allowed to self-identify in their new gender without a psychiatric diagnosis of gender dysphoria and also the idea of lowering the age at which people can apply to formally change gender from 18 to 16.

But generally people in the 16 to 24 age group were in favour of the bill.

Mail Online reports that lowering the age threshold was the measure that most people were unhappy about, with 66 percent opposed.

This included 63 percent of SNP voters, 67 percent of people who vote Labour, and 75 percent of Liberal Democrats, despite all three parties backing the bill at Holyrood.

The largest SNP rebellion in 15 years of government took place when the first parliamentary vote on the reforms was held.

There were also Labour members of the Scottish Parliament who said there would need to be significant amendments before they would be happy with the proposals.

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Just over a fifth of respondents (21 percent) were in favour of lowering the age limit.

The only age group where the majority backed the change was the 16 to 24s.

Extra safeguards have been put in place to mitigate MSPs about the lower age limit,  with 16 and 17-year-olds having to live in their new identity for twice as long as adults. 

The changes will mean that people of these ages will have to live in their ‘acquired gender’ for a minimum of six months, rather than three, before applying for a gender recognition certificate.

For those 18 and over the period will remain three months, with this followed by a three-month ‘cooling-off period’.

Sixty percent of people in the poll were opposed to plans to remove the need for a doctor’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

Of the remaining voters, 20 percent were in favour and the other 20 percent were unsure.
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