Scottish ministers won’t contest calls to pay UK Government GRR legal costs
The Scottish Government will not contest the UK Government’s bid to seek legal costs from the gender recognition reform (GRR) court case.
The Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack confirmed last week that he will seek legal expenses from Scottish ministers after the Court of Session ruled in favour of the UK Government last month.
The Scottish Government said the use of Section 35 to block the GRR Bill from reaching royal assent was an attack on democracy and chose to challenge the move in court.
Following the decision that Westminster’s actions were lawful, the SNP-Green administration said it would not appeal the ruling, and Jack suggested he would look to reclaim around £150,000 in expenses.
The Scottish Government had until Monday afternoon to oppose paying the costs.
The Scottish Government spent £230,000 on its case and now faces paying the UK's estimated costs of £150,000. However, the court will calculate the precise figure if it rules the funds should be reimbursed.
Jack criticised Scottish ministers for pursuing the case “in spite of the cost to the taxpayer”.
Social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville told Holyrood that the bill would not be withdrawn, and she is open to working with an incoming government on the legislation.
Jack said: “The Scottish Government chose to pursue this litigation in spite of the cost to the taxpayer.
“I am pleased they have taken the sensible decision not to oppose our motion for expenses. That could have further increased the cost to the taxpayer.”