Sir Keir Starmer has categorically refused to lift the block on the Scottish Government’s controversial gender reforms.

The Labour leader said there would “be no change of position on that” if his party formed the next UK Government.

MSPs passed the Gender Recognition Reform Bill in 2022 by 86 votes to 39 on a cross-party basis.

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The legislation aimed to speed up and simplify the process for a trans person to obtain a gender recognition certificate and change their legal sex.

Under the current system, this takes at least two years, involves a medical diagnosis and is only available at 18.

Holyrood’s Bill would have cut the waiting time to six months, lowered the age threshold to 16 and, crucially, have scrapped the need for a medical diagnosis.

However, before it could become law, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack blocked it by using the first-ever order under Section 35 of the 1998 Scotland Act.

He argued that although the subject matter was within Holyrood’s powers, the Bill would have an adverse effect on the operation of UK-wide equality law, particularly sound single-sex protections.

The Scottish Government’s attempt to overturn the veto was rejected in the courts with ministers deciding not to appeal in December last year.

At the time, Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice told MSPs that the Bill would not be withdrawn and she was open to working with an incoming Labour government on the legislation.

“If the current UK Government is willing to work together on this, we will happily sit down with them,” Ms Somerville said.

“If a future UK Government are willing, we will do so with them, so that the Section 35 could be lifted and the Bill progress.

“It seems clear that the current Government will not do this and it remains to be seen what a future government will do.”

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During a campaign stop at the Window Supply Company in Whitburn, Sir Keir was asked if he would look again at the block.

“No, there would be no change of position on that,” he said.

“I think there’s a lot to learn about gender self-ID from the way in which it’s been dealt with here in Scotland, which is why we’ve got a different proposition in our manifesto.”

Anas Sarwar, who was campaigning alongside Sir Keir, added: “The court has made it very clear that the law as it currently stands doesn't comply with the Equality Act and the primacy of the EqualityAct is very, very important.”