Scottish police oppose Nicola Sturgeon over transgender self-identification bill

First Minister embroiled in political crisis over Isla Bryson independent case - Ken Jack/Getty Images

First Minister embroiled in political crisis over Isla Bryson independent case – Ken Jack/Getty Images

Scottish police have defied Nicola Sturgeon’s self-identification campaign by referring to a transgender butcher arrested in connection with the disappearance of an 11-year-old girl as a man.

Andrew George Miller, known locally as Amy, was taken into police custody Monday night after the 11-year-old girl, who went missing on Sunday, was found “safe and well” at a house in Gattonside near Galashiels, having been dead since more than had been missed a day.

Police confirmed yesterday that a “53-year-old man”, believed to be Miller, had been arrested in connection with the disappearance, raising major concerns for the child’s well-being and prompting a desperate search and rescue mission to be launched.

Miller made the switch about six years ago when he changed his name to Amy and started dressing as a woman, locals in the Scottish Borders said.

Police’s decision to designate the suspect as a man comes despite Ms Sturgeon’s push to change the law to allow those who identify as a specific gender in Scotland to easily gain legal recognition as that gender.

The First Secretary is embroiled in a political crisis over the unrelated case of Isla Bryson, a transgender rapist who was originally held in a women’s prison under a prison policy that follows the same principles as her self-identification law.

Ms Sturgeon has declined to say whether she believes Bryson is either a man or a woman. In questioning, Ms. Sturgeon used feminine pronouns to refer to Bryson.

A poll has found that just a third of Scots oppose the UK government’s decision to veto equality reforms.

The Ipsos poll showed that 50 per cent supported the Scottish minister’s move to block the gender recognition reform bill, compared with just 33 per cent who were against. The remaining 17 percent didn’t know or didn’t want to say it.

In a blow to Ms Sturgeon, as many as 31 per cent of SNP voters said the UK government should have blocked the legislation.

Publicly supported Mrs. Sturgeon

Miller maintains social media profiles as both Andrew Miller and “Amy George”. He publicly backed Ms Sturgeon’s push to make it easier for Scots to change their legal gender. After the plans were blocked by the UK government, he warned Westminster should “never mess with Scottish transgender issues”.

Contrary to the approach taken by the Scottish courts and Ms Sturgeon to Bryson, previously known as Adam Graham, Police Scotland yesterday used masculine pronouns to describe Miller.

Ms Sturgeon has admitted Isla Bryson may be faking her trans identity - Police Scotland/Reuters

Ms Sturgeon has admitted Isla Bryson may be faking her trans identity – Police Scotland/Reuters

The approach also goes against the views of trans activists, who insist that labeling trans women as men is discriminatory.

Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly insisted that allowing people of male bodies to become legally female simply by signing a declaration poses no risk to women and girls or same-sex spaces.

However, the claims have been undermined by the case of Bryson, who Ms Sturgeon has admitted may be faking her trans identity.

Four days after the UK government announced it would block Ms Sturgeon’s law, Miller wrote on Facebook: “But the Transgender Directive. How can Westminster decide what we’ve decided?” He added, “If we decide in Scotland…it works for us in Scotland…it’s as simple as that.”

In another post last month, they said: “Stupid Billys in Westminster… Never mess with Scottish transgender issues.”

Miller was a butcher in Melrose until earlier this year, when he announced the Millers of Melrose store would not reopen after “four generations and almost 200 years in business.”

He had become a well-known figure in the rural community. “Transgender butchers aren’t exactly common in the Borders,” said one customer.

“Andy changed his name”

“They couldn’t really deny it, but it’s not a crime, so people just generally accepted it.”

Another said: “About six years ago Andy changed his name and started dressing and styling as a woman. When the changeover took place, the shock among the shopkeepers was great.”

Police said on Monday they were “very concerned” for the well-being of the girl, who went missing on Sunday after she was last seen in Galashiels town centre.

Locals engaged in a frantic search for the missing child before police confirmed she had been found and reunited with her family on Monday night. The hunt involved searching rivers and involved a helicopter and mountain rescue teams.

Police then cordoned off a quiet cul-de-sac in Gattonside, about 10 minutes’ drive from where the child had last been seen.

“Police showed up last night,” a neighbor told the Scottish Sun on Tuesday. “We were told it had something to do with the missing girl but I didn’t see anyone coming or going.

“It’s very worrying to have this, especially as a father of two young children.”

As “Amy George,” the suspect posted in January 2020 that she was a “single woman who is only interested in single women.”

“I’m Amy G Miller”

He regularly posted social media updates about running the butcher business, which he described as “a proper butcher’s shop for four generations.”

He wrote in March 2020: “I’ve been butchering personally for 50 years now. 22 at Jedburgh, 28 at Melrose. I have won many awards in butchery and culinary arts. I’m Amy G. Miller.”

As Andrew Miller, they wrote on January 3: “Thank you for all your wonderful wishes. The Melrose store will not reopen as a butcher shop. 4 generations and almost 200 years in business is enough.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “A 53-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of an 11-year-old girl from Galashiels, who was reported missing on Sunday 5 February.

“The girl was tracked down to a property in the Galashiels area around 9.30pm on Monday 6 February. Investigations into the circumstances are ongoing.”

Police refused to say why they labeled the suspect a man.


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