THE conviction of trans rapist Isla Bryson has rightly dominated headlines in Scotland and across the

UK this week and has outraged people from across the political and public spectrum.

For those who are unfamiliar with the case, let me give you a brief overview. On Tuesday a woman named Isla Bryson was convicted of two rapes that were sickeningly carried out when she was a man called Adam Graham.

Despite this, she was initially housed in a women’s prison which was wrong.

Before I discuss that further, I want to be clear. I am deeply disappointed at how the debate in relation to Gender Recognition and Reform has progressed in this country.

While I know that everyone is committed to improving the rights of trans people, I am depressed that a small minority of the population are being weaponised by those aiming to whip up further constitutional row.

However, the case of Isla Bryson does highlight a major issue if the GRR Bill does ultimately become enacted and one that my Scottish Conservative colleague Russell Findlay tried to amend.

It exposes the folly of Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government, backed up by the vast majority of Labour MSPs, Green and Lib Dem MSPs rushing this legislation through Parliament before Christmas, rather than properly scrutinising what it will mean in practice.

No rapist, let alone someone convicted of this heinous crime twice should ever be allowed access into a female prison.

That seems an uncontroversial and common-sense approach but this week has shown that Ms Sturgeon is unwilling to adopt that approach.

Her screeching U-turn performed by Ms Sturgeon over this case, less than 24 hours after SNP justice secretary Keith Brown said he trusted the decisions of the Scottish Prison Service was a shameful embarrassment.

What was worse that she refused to commit to refusing any rapist being allowed into a woman’s prison, or any dangerous or violent criminal for that matter.

She has the power to intervene on dangerous criminals like Isla Bryson and Tracey Scott, but prefers to stick to her dogged ideology.

It should not have taken public disgust and a slew of negative headlines for Ms Sturgeon to realise it was wrong that a double rapist should never ever have been in Cornton Vale.

The First Minister appeared more interested in protecting her own political career than protecting other female prisoners in Cornton Vale.

In December, MSPs voted by the narrowest of margins against amendments put together by my colleague Russell Findlay and SNP MSP Michelle Thomson that would have stopped this from happening, protected women’s rights and guaranteeing the system to transition for trans people was reformed.

There is a duty of everyone on all sides of this debate to tone down the toxicity.

That includes the First Minister who only on Friday ramped up her language again and accused opponents of this reform as not only being transphobic, but homophobic and racist as well.

That type of inflamed language is deeply worrying and does nobody any favours. Only a week before SNP colleagues were pictured in this city in front of banners talking about decapitating “terfs”.

For the sake of those most affected, I hope that common sense will prevail in the end on all sides.