SNP minister, Ash Regan, has resigned from the Scottish government over a vote on highly controversial gender reforms today.

Regan’s resignation as Community Safety Minister came ahead of the vote which saw SNP MSPs whipped to vote with the government on plans to make it easier for people to change their legally recognised gender.

In a letter to Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, Regan said: “I have concluded that my conscience will not allow me to vote with the government.”

The proposed bill, which faces its first vote today, removes the requirement of a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria for someone to receive a gender recognition certificate (GRC). The bill also reduces the age requirement from 18 to 16.

The resignation marks the first time that a minister has resigned over government policy, since the SNP took power in 2007. Another MSP, John Mason, also said that he planned to oppose the bill.

Regan was one of 15 SNP politicians to sign a letter in 2019, that urged the Scottish government not to rush in “changing the definition of male and female”.

Accepting the resignation, Sturgeon said: “in circumstances in which a minister is unable to support the government, it is the case that the only options available are resignation ahead of the vote or dismissal thereafter.”

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