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by Staff Reporter
23 April 2024
Alba’s Ash Regan tables no-confidence motion in Greens’ Patrick Harvie

Credit: Alamy

Alba’s Ash Regan tables no-confidence motion in Greens’ Patrick Harvie

Alba MSP Ash Regan has lodged a motion of no confidence in Patrick Harvie for his response to the Cass review into gender identity services for young people.

Accusing the Scottish Green co-leader of “siding with ideology over evidence”, Regan says he has refused to accept the recommendations laid out by Dr Hilary Cass.

The review was commissioned by NHS England following concerns about care offered to gender-questioning children. It concluded there was a lack of reliable evidence on which to base clinical decisions.

Last week, the Sandyford clinic – which runs the young people gender service in Scotland – announced it was paused prescription of puberty-suppressing hormones following the review.

Speaking on the BBC on Sunday, Harvie said the review had “clearly been politicised” and, asked if he accepted the report, he said there had been “far too many criticisms of the report to be able to say that”.

Harvie is currently the minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights, a role he took on following the Bute House Agreement between his party and the SNP.

Regan said: “The motion of no confidence speaks for itself. The Scottish Greens wish to side with ideology over clinical evidence. I am hopeful that MSPs will put good governance first, ahead of party lines, and support the motion.”

The motion must get the support of 25 MSPs before it is debated in the chamber, at which point all MSPs will vote on it.

However it is unlikely to be successful even if the other opposition parties all back it, as the SNP and Greens together have a parliamentary majority,

Fellow Green co-leader Lorna Slater saw off a vote of no confidence over the failed deposit return scheme last year.

The two ministers are under pressure from their own members who are now questioning the value of the cooperation deal with the SNP, following both the Sandyford decision and the scrapping of a key climate target.

An emergency meeting is to be held in the coming weeks for Green members to vote on whether to remain in government.

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