Alister Jack has confirmed that he has snubbed his second invitation to give evidence to a Holyrood committee over his decision to block Scotland's gender recognition reforms.

Under the plans, Scotland would remove the need for trans people to require a gender dysphoria diagnosis to obtain a gender recognition certificate with a move to a system of self-ID.

The legislation would also lower the age limit to 16.

But Mr Jack said the UK Government has moved to block the legislation becoming law over concerns it infringes of UK-wide legislation such as the Equalities Act.

UK ministers have also raised concerns about two parallel gender recognition systems being in operation across the UK, despite it being a devolved matter.

The Scottish Secretary has claimed that he does not think answering questions of Holyrood's Consitution Committee would be "appropriate" in case court action is taken on the matter.

Last week, he snubbed an appearance at Holyrood's Equalities Committee, claiming that But he has confirmed he "won't be speaking to the Equalities Committee" because "my job is constitutional".

Instead, he recommended UK equalities minister Kemi Badenoch take his place, but she also turned down the invitation.

In a letter to the Constitution Committee after a second invitation to apepar before MSPs, Mr Jack said that "in light of the First Minister’s view that this matter will 'inevitably end up in court' I do not believe it would be appropriate to attend at this time".

SNP MSP Alasdair Allan said: "Well, there we have it - three invitations, two Tory ministers and one feeble excuse for a gutless UK Government unwilling to face the Scottish Parliament, after launching a full-frontal attack on devolution. 

"The Tories lack the courage to explain their undemocratic decisions to a Parliament they seem intent on wrecking. The level of contempt they are showing to the people of Scotland is disgraceful."

He added: "All the Tories talk of working together and their claims that Scotland is part of a 'union of equals' lie exposed as entirely disingenuous. Frankly, few people believed them on this a week ago but now we see they don't even believe it themselves. 

"Fundamentally, they are no shows at Holyrood because they have no answers. Their actions are an affront to Scottish democracy and yet another reason why Scotland must become independent to escape the Tories and Westminster control for good."