Kate Forbes: SNP leadership contender says transgender prisoner Isla Bryson is a 'man'

Isla Bryson in pink puffer jacket and umbrella

Isla Bryson. Credit: PA Wire.

Kate Forbes has declared transgender rapist Isla Bryson is a "man".

The contender for the SNP leadership said in an interview "No rapist can be a woman. Isla Bryson is a man," as she confirmed she would not continue legal action against the Westminster veto of the Scottish gender self-ID law. 

But professor of criminology Joe Phoenix said the prison service should focus on protecting female prisoners rather than whether Bryson should be referred to as "he or she".

Speaking to TalkTV's Kevin O'Sullivan she said: "There are males who identify as women who may well pose a threat to women, particularly in the female prison service. It isn't scaremongering; these things happen."

"To base any organisation policy on somebody's identity is a road to a terrible place," she said.

"We have 200 years of criminological evidence that tells us quite a lot about crime, and in particular it tells us about the sex-based patterns of crime.

"We don't have the evidence base to support a self-identification policy in prison."

Transgender women held in women’s prisons in England and Wales have committed no assaults or sexual assaults since reforms were introduced in 2019, according to Prisons minister Damian Hinds.

Mr Hinds updated MPs yesterday after he was pressed over the policy for the allocation of transgender prisoners.