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Nicola Sturgeon appears to question the legal drinking age as she defends controversial gender laws

Nicola Sturgeon has sparked backlash after appearing to question the legal drinking age in Scotland as she continued to defend the SNP’s controversial gender reform law.

In an interview for Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the First Minister was questioned about the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill which lowers the minimum age that Scots can legally change their gender from 18 to 16.

The BBC journalist asked why 16-year-olds could not buy a pint in the pub or drive a car, but would be old enough to make such a profound decision.

Ms Sturgeon responded: ‘I used to – when I was growing up and probably sixteen – used to take the view that there should be a single age of consent.

In an interview for Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the First Minister was questioned about the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill which lowers the minimum age that Scots can legally change their gender from 18 to 16

The BBC journalist asked why 16-year-olds could not buy a pint in the pub or drive a car, but would be old enough to make such a profound decision

The BBC journalist asked why 16-year-olds could not buy a pint in the pub or drive a car, but would be old enough to make such a profound decision

Ms Sturgeon later clarified in a tweet that it was 'bad phrasing on my part' and she did not 'favour' a change in drinking rules

Ms Sturgeon later clarified in a tweet that it was ‘bad phrasing on my part’ and she did not ‘favour’ a change in drinking rules

‘And I think over time I think it is right to look at, why can’t a 16-year-old drink alcohol in a pub.’ 

‘You need to look at the particular circumstances, the physical issues around some of these things,’ she added.

Ms Sturgeon later clarified in a tweet that it was ‘bad phrasing on my part’ and she did not ‘favour’ a change in drinking rules.

People were quick to react on social media to Ms Sturgeon’s comments, with one saying: ‘So you can choose to change your gender at 16 but not have a pint.’

Another commented: ‘You can’t sip a shandy at a bar but you can change sex.’

It comes as Rishi Sunak confirmed he will block Sturgeon’s controversial gender identity legislation from becoming law.

In an unprecedented move, the Prime Minister will prevent the Holyrood legislation from receiving royal assent after warnings it would cause UK-wide legislative chaos. 

Mr Sunak’s dramatic action swiftly set up a fresh row with Ms Sturgeon’s SNP-led administration in Edinburgh. 

His decision was announced just hours after the First Minister insisted it would be an ‘outrage’ if Westminster halted reforms passed by the Scottish Parliament last month. 

In the wake of the PM’s move, Ms Sturgeon hit out at a ‘full-frontal attack’ on Holyrood and vowed her Scottish Government would continue to defend the gender legislation. 

It means the Scottish Government and UK Government could be on course for another showdown at the Supreme Court. 

People were quick to react on social media to Ms Sturgeon's comments, with one saying: 'So you can choose to change your gender at 16 but not have a pint'

People were quick to react on social media to Ms Sturgeon’s comments, with one saying: ‘So you can choose to change your gender at 16 but not have a pint’

Sturgeon hit out at a 'full-frontal attack' on Holyrood and vowed her Scottish Government would continue to defend the gender legislation

Sturgeon hit out at a ‘full-frontal attack’ on Holyrood and vowed her Scottish Government would continue to defend the gender legislation

The Scottish First Minister had earlier attempted to warn the UK Government against blocking the gender identity legislation

The Scottish First Minister had earlier attempted to warn the UK Government against blocking the gender identity legislation

Rishi Sunak raised his concerns about the reforms with Nicola Sturgeon during a private dinner in Inverness

Rishi Sunak raised his concerns about the reforms with Nicola Sturgeon during a private dinner in Inverness

Sturgeon blasts Starmer over gender bill ‘concerns’ 

Nicola Sturgeon turned her fire on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer after he admitted to ‘concerns’ about the bill.

The First Minister accused Sir Keir of failing to stand up to the Tories. 

Pointing out that Scottish Labour MSPs had voted for the bill, she said if Sir Keir was to support a block ‘he would be showing utter contempt for his own Scottish party as well as the Scottish Parliament’.

She added: ‘We will see what happens this week but these is no justification whatsoever for the action that is being talked about.’

Sir Keir reiterated his weekend comments about the bill. Speaking to a Scottish trans activist on LBC he said: ‘I’m afraid I do think that 16 is too young. 

‘Now people would just have different views on this. But I think 16 is too young for that process … I would go for 18. The age of adulthood in most cases.’

Less than two months ago, Supreme Court judges told Ms Sturgeon she can’t hold a second independence referendum without Westminster’s prior approval.

In order to prevent the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from becoming law, the UK Government will make an order under Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998.

The move is the first time UK ministers have used a Section 35 order since devolution more than two decades ago.

Alistair Jack, the Scottish Secretary, wrote to Ms Sturgeon today to inform her of the UK Government’s decision.

He said in a statement: ‘After thorough and careful consideration of all the relevant advice and the policy implications, I am concerned that this legislation would have an adverse impact on the operation of Great Britain-wide equalities legislation.

‘Transgender people who are going through the process to change their legal sex deserve our respect, support and understanding.

‘My decision today is about the legislation’s consequences for the operation of GB-wide equalities protections and other reserved matters.

‘I have not taken this decision lightly. The bill would have a significant impact on, amongst other things, GB-wide equalities matters in Scotland, England and Wales.

‘I have concluded, therefore, that this is the necessary and correct course of action.’

Ms Sturgeon responded to the announcement by vowing to ‘defend the legislation and stand up for Scotland’s parliament’.

She also warned the ‘Westminster veto’ – if successful – would be ‘the first of many’ over Holyrood legislation.

‘This is a full-frontal attack on our democratically elected Scottish Parliament and its ability to make its own decisions on devolved matters,’ the First Minister added on Twitter.

Leading transgender rights charity Stonewall accused the UK Government of using the ‘nuclear option’ in response to the Scottish bill.

The charity’s chief executive, Nancy Kelley, also claimed Mr Sunak was using trans people’s lives as ‘a political football’. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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