Ministers urged to make the required changes following Named Person ruling

MINISTERS have been urged to act in making any necessary changes to Scotland's Named Person scheme.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 10:46 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2016, 11:47 am
Protestors against the named person legislation stand outside the Supreme Court in London. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Reacting to the Supreme Court ruling – which stated the legislation is currently “incompatible” with European human rights laws – organisations and political parties supportive of Named Person said the Scottish Government must take steps to fix the policy and regain public trust.

Those opposed to the legislation hailed the ruling as a “stunning victory” and called for it to be ditched entirely.

Labour’s education spokesman and East Lothian MSP Iain Gray said the handling of the scheme had been a “shambles”.

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Mr Gray added: “It now falls to SNP Deputy First Minister John Swinney to clarify how he will regain the trust and confidence of the Scottish public in the scheme. Simply pressing on after minor amendments to the legislation will not be good enough. We need to see a complete re-examination of the guidance and regulations.”

Scottish Greens education spokesman Ross Greer said the required changes give the Scottish Government an opportunity to “build public confidence” in the legislation.

Mr Greer said: “As I told the Scottish Parliament last month, the Scottish Government must do more to build public confidence and better explain what Named Person means in practice. They now have an opportunity to do that when the Supreme Court’s necessary changes are made to the legislation.”

Children’s Commissioner Tam Baillie said: “The Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament has now been given 42 days to ‘correct the defects’ identified by the court and my office stands ready to work with them to do this. As part of this work, the Scottish Government must engage with children and young people about the issue of sharing confidential, sensitive and personal information.”

Martin Crewe, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “We look forward to working with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to ensure the Named Person service works effectively to support children and young people in Scotland.”

Dr Gordon Macdonald, of Christian charity CARE, one of the four co-petitioners in the legal challenge, said: “This is a stunning victory for parents and families across Scotland. We are delighted judges at the UK’s highest court have backed our case.”