NICOLA Sturgeon is “on another planet” on the issue of trans prisoners and needs to set out her position clearly in the coming days, the chair of the Scottish Tories has said.

MSP Craig Hoy said the First Minister was flying in the face of public opinion after rejecting a blanket ban on male-bodied rapists being held in women’s jails.

Ms Sturgeon this week said she didn’t want trans prisoner Isla Bryson, who committed two rapes as Adam Graham, housed in the female prison estate.

Bryson was found guilty of raping one woman in Clydebank in 2016 and another in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in 2019 at the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old only began identifying as a woman after being charged, and has not legally changed gender, although they are taking hormones and requesting surgery.

Despite the Scottish Court Service expecting Bryson to be transferred to Barlinnie, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) moved him to the women’s jail at Cornton Vale instead.

After a public outcry, Ms Sturgeon made her views known to the SPS, which moved Bryson to HMP Edinburgh on Thursday, although she insisted she had not ordered this directly.

Ms Sturgeon later dismissed the idea of a blanket ban on male-bodied sex offenders in women’s jails in an interview with The News Agents podcast.

She said it should be the “presumption” not to house such offenders in women’s jails, but the SPS should still have discretion in the matter.

She said: “I think as a general principle, somebody who rapes a woman should not be in a female prison. 

“The danger of any blanket approach is you end up having a different effect to the one you want because you catch cases that should be dealt with in a different way.

“I think the individualised risk assessment process is strong, but I do believe…there should be a presumption that somebody who is convicted of rape is not in a woman's prison.”

However Ms Sturgeon is now under pressure because of other transgender prisoners.

It was reported on Saturday that Tiffany Scott, previously known as Andrew Burns, has been approved for transfer into the female prison estate.

Scott was given a lifelong restriction in 2023 because of the risk they posed to the public after admitting stalking a 13-year-old girl by sending her letters while in prison.

In 2017, Falkirk Sheriff Court was locked down amid safety fears as Scott was sentenced over a series of violent incidents in Glenochil Prison, including striking a prison nurse with a hurled chair, punching a prison officer in the face, and spitting at another officer and trying to bite him.

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, Mr Hoy said his party had warned that letting men self-identify as women would be exploited by predators with no genuine transgender .

Holyrood passed the Gender Recognition Reform Bill just before Christmas to bring in trans self-ID, although the UK Government has vetoed it, pending a likely legal challenge.

Mr Hoy said: “We want to make sure that we provide all the support we can for trans people here in Scotland.

“But we warned when that legislation was going through, there was a very real risk of bad actors.

“For example, of male sex offenders using Nicola Sturgeon laws to try and access women's prisons and we have seen that already. 

“I think it is quite clear that the First Minister should come forward this week with a statement as to whether or not the latest offender [Scott] should be transferred to a women's prison. 

“I would also want to see the Scottish Government come forward with urgent legislation to ensure that no convicted male sex offender is transferred or is housed in a women's prison.

“The First Minister, I think on this issue, is on another planet. 

“I don't know what planet she's on, but it's not the same planet as the people who are watching this programme today. 

“Two-thirds of Scots have very real concerns about the government's policy. 

“We warned of the risks of the legislation. The First Minister didn't listen, the Labour Party supported the First Minister. 

“But I think we've seen over the last week that the government must act swiftly to restore confidence in this issue.”

Reminded the SNP had put simplifying gender recognition in their 2021 Holyrood manifesto and that the public had voted for it, Mr Hoy said: “It may have been in their manifesto, but I think what we've seen through this law is that there are unintended consequences, which put women's safety at risk and which risks for example, the Equality Act in the rest of the UK.

“The Scottish Government should think again. The Scottish Government should have listened to us first time around, and they must make sure that they ban male convicted sex offenders going into women's prisons where they have access to vulnerable women.”

The Scottish Government has said the placement of prisoners is an "operational matter for the Scottish Prison Service" using comprehensive individualised risk assessments to inform decisions.

SPS is close to completely a review of its policy on managing transgender prisoners in partnership with the Scottish Government.