The UK equalities minister has snubbed a Holyrood committee invitation to give evidence on her government’s decision to block Scotland’s gender recognition reforms.

Kemi Badenoch has turned down the invitation to be questioned by MSPs on Holyrood’s Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee tomorrow.

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The convener of the Holyrood committee, which has scrutinised the legislation throughout the process has been left “bitterly disappointed” after Ms Badenoch and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack refused to give evidence.

Mr Jack, who formally put forward the section 35 order to block the legislation, confirmed last week that he would not be attending the meeting.

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He said he "won't be speaking to the Equalities Committee" because "my job is constitutional".

Instead, he proposed Ms Badenoch gave evidence in his place, but she has declined the offer.

Mr Jack has also been invited to give evidence on the matter by Holyrood’s Constitution Committee.

Joe FitzPatrick, convener of the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee, said: "I am bitterly disappointed that neither the Secretary of State for Scotland or Minister for Women and Equalities will be able to attend our meeting tomorrow.

“We had hoped to better understand the reasons for the issuing of a Section 35 Order in relation to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

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“The committee will consider its next steps at its meeting."

SNP MSP Emma Roddick said: “This is a disgraceful insult to the Scottish Parliament - two members of the Tory UK Government have now snubbed invitations to appear at Holyrood to explain why they have chosen to veto a bill overwhelmingly passed by MSPs.

“All Tory talk of compromise is entirely disingenuous.

"This is a purely political decision and an illustration of the contempt they hold for Scottish democracy."

She added: "As much as the Tories hate it, devolution is not about what Westminster thinks is acceptable, it is about the right of the Scottish Parliament to pass laws that best meet the needs of the people who live here.

“Westminster's actions should be of huge concern to anyone who supports Scotland’s right to make decisions on devolved matters. Democracy must be protected."