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Watch: Sturgeon ties herself in knots

Oh dear. It seems that Nicola Sturgeon seems to have got her progressive causes in a muddle. The First Minister is having a tricky time trying to work out if she’s a feminist first or an LGBT ally in light of her government’s U-turn on trans prisoners. On Sunday, a ‘pause’ was placed on the transfer to women’s jails of trans inmates with a history of violence, after the Scottish Prison initially sent a double rapist to a women’s only-prison.

But today when asked if she would apologise, the First Minister refused, saying: ‘I don’t think there is anything for that.’ And in an excruciating interview with ITV’s Peter Smith this afternoon, Sturgeon sought to avoid addressing the logical conclusion of her government’s commitments on transgender rights. Smith asked Sturgeon whether ‘Are all trans women, women?’ prompting the First Minister to suggest, er, that he was at fault for asking the wrong question. Below is a transcript of the exchange which could have earned her a Scout badge for tied knots…

NS: ‘That is not the point that we are dealing with here…

PS: ‘That is the question I am asking.’

NS: ‘Trans women are women, but in the present context there is no automatic right for a trans woman…’

PS: ‘So there are contexts where a trans woman is not a woman?’

NS: ‘No, there [are] circumstances when a trans woman will be housed in the male prison estate…’

PS: ‘Is there any context in which a woman born as a woman will be housed in the male estate?’

NS: ‘Look, we’re talking here about trans women…’

PS: ‘And I’m now asking about women born as women.’

NS: ‘I don’t think there are circumstances there, but…’

PS: ‘So it’s different for trans women?’

NS: ‘Well, yes…’

Order up: one Sturgeon, smoked.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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