Humza Yousaf: Scotlands health secretary launches legal action in row with nursery over place for daughter

Scotland’s health secretary and his wife have commenced legal action against a nursery they allege discriminated against their family by not offering their daughter a place.

Aamer Anwar, a lawyer for the couple, said his office had served papers on Little Scholars Day Nursery in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, and its director, Usha Fowdar, claiming a breach of the Equality Act 2010.

Humza Yousaf and Nadia El-Nakla allege that the nursery “unlawfully discriminated” against them and their daughter Amal, two, “on the grounds of race and/or religion”.

The statement alleges that the nursery turned down attempts to secure a place for a child with an “Asian/Muslim name” on three occasions but subsequently offered places to children with “‘white sounding’, non-Muslim” names.

Mr Yousaf went public with his allegations earlier this month.

At the time, a spokesman for the nursery owners said they were “extremely proud of being open and inclusive to all” and that “any claim to the contrary is demonstrably false and an accusation that we would refute in the strongest possible terms”.

They added: “In addition to our owners being of Asian heritage, across more than a decade we have regularly welcomed both children and staff from a range of different religious, cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds, including two Muslim families currently.

“We have also regularly made arrangements to accommodate different lifestyles by, for example, providing a halal menu for those children who come from Muslim families.”

Sky News has contacted the nursery for comment in response to the legal action being launched.

The joint statement from the couple said: “Despite being given ample opportunity, Little Scholars Day Nursery in Broughty Ferry have failed to admit, explain or apologise for their discriminatory behaviour.

“We have both stood against hatred our whole lives, often being the targets of vile abuse.

“We will not accept our children being discriminated against by anyone. Like any other parents we simply want our children to be treated equally, regardless of their colour of skin or religion.

“We strongly believe we have evidence of systemic discrimination being carried out by Little Scholars Day Nursery.

“As passionate believers in the fairness of Scotland’s justice system, we have now instructed our solicitor, Aamer Anwar, to initiate court proceedings and are determined to fight for justice for our daughter.”

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