Scotland Secretary Alister Jack’s decision to block a law which would have allowed people to self identify in Scotland was a “democratic outrage”, the SNP’s former Westminster leader has said.

First Minister Humza Yousaf has been reported to be poised to announce plans this week for court action against the UK Government after it blocked the law aimed at making it easier for people to change their legal gender.

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Ian Blackford, the former leader of the SNP in Westminster, told BBC Radio Scotland the bill had backing across the Scottish Parliament.

He told the Good Morning Scotland programme: “What’s at the heart of this matter is the Secretary of State for Scotland believes he has the power, he has the right, to strike down any bill of the Scottish Parliament. That’s a democratic outrage in a modern democracy.”

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He said that members of the Scottish Parliament could be sent to Holyrood “by the electorate to enact a manifesto commitment and at a whim, at a stroke of a pen, the Secretary of State for Scotland can strike down any bill of the Scottish Parliament” and said he thought “it quite clearly cannot be right”.

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Asked if he thought if the Scottish Government would win, he replied: “Let’s wait and see.”