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Daily Record
Daily Record
Chris McCall

Labour demands answers on trans prisoner 'fiasco' from SNP justice secretary Keith Brown

Labour has demanded to know if the temporary ban on the transfer of violent transgender prisoners will be made permanent.

Two of the party's MSPs have written to SNP justice secretary Keith Brown to ask why it took so long for the government to intervene over the transfers of Isla Bryson and Tiffany Scott.

Pauline McNeill and Katy Clark have also called for the Scottish Parliament's justice committee to be provided with information on the pattern of offending among transgender prisoners held in women's jails.

Bryson, 31, was last week convicted of raping two women while she was known as Adam Graham.

She was initially transferred from the High Court in Glasgow to Cornton Vale women's prison to await sentencing - a decision that prompted uproar from opposition politicians.

Nicola Sturgeon was later forced to tell MSPs that no transgender prisoner with a history of violence against women would be placed in a female prison.

Clark said: "The fiasco we have seen over the last week regarding the transfer of violent prisoners to the women’s estate has been shocking.

"The rights and the safety of women in prison is of vital importance. It is also deeply unfair to many transgender women that these high profile and violent cases have coloured much of the discourse around this important issue.

"The fact is that the SNP government has done all that it can to hide behind others during this process and have only acted when their hand has been forced.

"We need answers now from Keith Brown on what the way forward will look like, how the rights of women will be protected and how women will be kept safe."

The Record first reported how Scottish Prison Service (SPS) bosses were still considering whether to grant the transfer of Tiffany Scott - who stalked a 13-year-old while living as a man - from a male to a female prison.

The backlash caused the government to announce all transfers involving transgender inmates would be halted until an SPS review was completed.

The Record has asked the Scottish Government for comment.

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