Irvine’s MSP is facing calls to quit chairing Holyrood's equality committee after a conversation claiming the First Minister is 'out of step' over transgender rights was leaked.

The leaked conversation between three SNP MSPs claimed Dreghorn-raised First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is 'out of step with her group' over greater transgender rights in Scotland.

At the United Nations in February, the First Minister said: “As an ardent, passionate feminist, and have been all my life, I don’t see the greater recognition of transgender rights as a threat to me as a woman or to my feminism.”

After MSP Gillian Martin wrote that the “FM is a bit out of step with feelings of her group”, Ruth Maguire stated ‘FFS’ [for f*** sake] in reference to Emma Ritch of the group Engender sharing the First Minister’s comment. 

Irvine Times:

Labour have since called on the Cunninghame South MSP to quit as convenor the committee - which is responsible for fair scrutiny of any changes to the Gender Recognition Act.

Irvine South Labour Cllr Robert Foster said: "Ruth Maguire must immediately resign as the Convenor of the Equalities and Human Rights committee. Trans rights are human rights. They are non negotiable. Not believing that is fundamentally incompatible with being the Convenor.

"This "private" group chat also included Gillian Martin MSP who Nicola Sturgeon was forced to remove from a ministerial post because she had previously written a blog describing trans people as "hairy arsed laydees". The Equalities convenor should know better than to share views with people who hold such offensive views.

"Youth groups across North Ayrshire have been doing incredible work to promote LGBT inclusive education in our schools. Its a kick in the face to the young people throughout North Ayrshire who are doing incredible work on LGBT rights including the fantastic LGBT group at Kilwinning Academy in Ruth's constituency."

"Ruth's resignation should include an unreserved apology to the trans and wider LGBT community for her behaviour."

An SNP spokesperson said: “The SNP supports trans rights and women’s rights as part of our firm commitment to human rights and equality. 

“Trans people must be able to live their lives without facing unnecessary barriers and discrimination.  

“It is important that any discussion on trans rights and women’s rights is conducted respectfully.”