A DECISION on whether the Scottish Government will take legal action over Holyrood’s stymied gender reforms will be announced “very imminently”, Humza Yousaf has said.

It is understood Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville could confirm the launch of a judicial review at the Court of Session as soon as tomorrow.

The Scottish Government has until Monday, April 17, to seek a judicial review in a bid to set aside the UK Government’s veto of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill (GRR).

The Bill was passed by MSPs just before Christmas but was stopped from becoming law by London’s unprecedented use of an order under Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the move was needed because the Holyrood Bill clashed with existing UK-wide equality law.

The Bill is intended to simplify the process for trans people to change gender in the eyes of the law, but critics say it undermines women’s rights and single-sex spaces. 

During the SNP leadership contest, Mr Yousaf was the only one of the three contenders to support a legal challenge to the Section 35 veto on principle.

Kate Forbes said court should be a last resort and the Bill should be amended, while Ash Regan warned a legal fight would be costly counter-productive failure. 

Mr Yousaf said today that, while he was still considering legal advice, he had already made it clear in his campaign that the block was an “undemocratic veto”.

Asked if he would confirm the legal action, Mr Yousaf said: “I’ll confirm very imminently.”

He went on: “I made it clear during the election contest that my first principle was to challenge what I consider to be an undemocratic veto over legislation that was passed by a majority of the Scottish Parliament.

“And there’s a range of views over the GRR Bill, but actually almost regardless of what the Bill is, the fact that a Section 35 order has been used is something that I think is unacceptable in this circumstance. 

“So I’ll make that decision known very, very soon.

“I’m considering, as you’d imagine with any court case or any potential court case, the legal advice. I can’t go into the detail of that legal advice, as you’d imagine. 

“And as I say, I’ll make a decision on that very imminently.”

The Scottish Tories have accused Mr Yousaf of trying to stoke conflict with Westminster over the GRR Bill in order to hold his fractious party together.

However the GRR Bill is one of the things that has divided the SNP in recent months.

It has also divided the public, with most Scots opposed to key elements.

Alba party’s National Women’s Convener Dr Yvonne Ridley also urged the SNP-Green joint government to drop any legal action.

She said: "Humza Yousaf’s decision to go to court to fight for hugely unpopular gender reforms is an act of sabotage that will damage the cause of independence.

"We need a change of focus with the attention of the Government on issues that matter to the people of Scotland. Continuity won’t cut it. The SNPs Gender Reform obsession is holding back the cause of independence.”