Humza Yousaf has accused Scottish Labour’s leadership of being “incapable of defending” Holyrood after the party failed to back action to try and overturn the blocked gender recognition reforms despite voting in favour of them.

The First Minister’s government confirmed it will seek a judicial review at the Court of Session to appeal the UK Government using a section 35 order to halt the gender recognition reforms from becoming law.

The vast majority of Scottish Labour MSPs supported the legislation.

Read more: SNP confirms court action to contest blocking of gender reforms

But in response to the confirmation of court action, the party’s official line pointed the finger at the Scottish and UK governments and branded the legal proceedings “a fraught and expensive” route.

Scottish Labour equalities spokesperson, Paul O’Kane, who took over the role earlier this week, said “The election of a new First Minister should have provided a reset moment on this debate. Instead, everyone is being failed by the constitutional row that has engulfed this bill.

“Trans people and women are still being failed and the SNP and Tory governments doing nothing to find consensus.

“This issue is too important to be reduced to political point scoring or culture wars.”

He added: “A fraught and expensive legal battle could have been avoided if both of our governments had been more willing to work in good faith to deliver a bill that works for everyone.

Read more: Analysis: Humza Yousaf gets on front foot over legal challenge

“The real questions here won’t be answered in the courts – we need to focus on building consensus and public support for a way forward on reform.”

But two Labour MSPs have backed the Scottish Government’s decision.

Former Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard said it was a “welcome decision”.

He added: “The update to gender recognition law passed overwhelmingly by the Scottish Parliament would make life a little easier for one of the most persecuted minorities in society.

“It was both necessary and long overdue, and it must be allowed to stand.”

The Herald: Monica LennonMonica Lennon (Image: PA)

Monica Lennon highlighted the legislation was supported by “by a two-thirds majority, including support from all parties”.

She added: “It is right that the Scottish Government is challenging the UK Government’s block on the reforms.”

In response, Mr Yousaf said it was a “shame that Anas Sarwar and (the) Labour leadership are incapable of defending our Scottish Parliament”.

He added: “A reminder the UK Government have refused to meaningfully engage on the GRR Bill, which Anas Sarwar and most of Scottish Labour voted for.”

Pointing to the response from Mr Leonard and Ms Lennon, the FM said that “thankfully there are some in Labour who get it”.