Police Scotland has said it will not take action against JK Rowling after the Harry Potter author challenged Scotland’s new hate crime law by calling trans women men on social media.

On Easter Monday, as the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act took effect, the Edinburgh-based writer protested on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, saying the legislation was “wide open to abuse by activists who wish to silence” gender-critical feminists.

READ MORE: JK Rowling mocks Scotland's new hate crime legislation

She shared pictures of Isla Bryson, a double rapist previously known as Adam Graham who only began identifying as a woman after being charged, and Amy George, also known as Andrew Miller, a Borders butcher who abducted an 11-year-old girl while dressed in women's clothing and then sexually assaulted her and kept her captive for over 27 hours.

Ms Rowling also posted pictures of the broadcaster India Willoughby, the activist Munroe Bergdorf, and Mridul Wadhwa, the chief executive of Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre. All three are transwomen.

She said that all the people mentioned in the tweets “aren't women at all, but men, every last one of them.”

“I'm currently out of the country, but if what I've written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment,” she added.

Her tweet ended with a hashtag reading "arrest me."

On Tuesday, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We have received complaints in relation to the social media post.

"The comments are not assessed to be criminal and no further action will be taken."

Ms Rowling took to X say that she hoped "every woman in Scotland who wishes to speak up for the reality and importance of biological sex will be reassured by this announcement."

"I trust that all women - irrespective of profile or financial means - will be treated equally under the law," she added.

When someone on X suggested the decision not to investigate further was because she was rich and well known, Ms Rowling tweeted: "If they go after any woman for simply calling a man a man, I'll repeat that woman's words and they can charge us both at once."

The decision was praised by the SNP's Joanna Cherry. However, the MP and KC said there were still many questions for police and prosecutors to answer.

"This is a welcome decision no doubt made at a high level in Police Scotland but people particularly ordinary working-class women can’t be expected to rely on a decision in a single high profile case to protect their freedom of expression .

"Clarity ideally would be on the face of the law. In its absence, we need to see the thinking that has informed this decision set out in publicly available guidance to ordinary officers and particularly the hate crime champions.

"I should also like to see some publicly available Lord Advocate’s Guidelines on cases under the new legislation."

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak backs JK Rowling on Scotland’s hate crime laws

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act consolidates some existing laws and creates a new offence of stirring up hatred against protected characteristics, including age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity.

It does not include sex. A separate misogyny law was promised by Humza Yousaf in his first programme for government, though it is yet to be published.

The First Minister has previously insisted that the protections for freedom of expression in the legislation means it will not be a criminal offence to misgender someone.

However, speaking to the BBC on Monday, Siobhian Brown, the Minister for Victims and Community Safety, appeared to suggest that it could be. She said it would be up to Police Scotland to judge whether or not it was a crime.

Meanwhile, former Scottish Government minister Ash Regan has called for the legislation to be repealed.

The Edinburgh MSP, who defected to Alex Salmond's Alba last year, voted for the new law in 2021, but writing in the Times, she said she had been "misled."

Ms Regan said she had raised her concerns with Mr Yousaf, then the justice secretary and had been assured that there would be "clarity of intent built into the accompanying guidance."

While the Explanatory Notes that accompanied the Bill have no legal status, they were supposed to provide examples of the type of statement not intended to be caught by the Act.

However, Ms Regan said at a meeting to discuss this, "ministers decided that they would not add clarifying real-world scenarios involving gender-critical feminists as there was nothing to gain, and it would upset the transgender lobby."

That criticism echoes an earlier complaint from the Murray Blackburn Mackenzie policy group whom Mr Yousaf promised to meet with to allow them to feed into the notes. 

However, that did not happen. 

READ MORE: I’ve had my own battles with hate and I’m not proud of it

Earlier in the day, both Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and footballer Ally McCoist have backed Ms Rowling.

Speaking on TalkSport, the ex-Rangers star said he and thousands of football fans will flout the rules during this weekend's Old Firm match.

"I can guarantee you, next Sunday at Ibrox, I, along with 48,000 will be committing a breach of that hate bill in the particular Rangers Celtic game we are all going to."

Mr Sunak said that while he could not comment on police matters, he “very strongly” supports the right to free speech.

He insisted: “We should not be criminalising people saying common sense things about biological sex.

“Clearly that isn’t right, we have a proud tradition of free speech.”

Neil Gray, the Scottish Government's Health Secretary, hit back at the PM.

He said the comments were “rather unhelpful”.

Mr Gray said while the Prime Minister is “obviously entitled to his view” it would be “most helpful if people understood, got behind legislation and sought to tackle hatred, rather than seeking to intervene to stop measures being in place to suppress hatred”.