Humza Yousaf claims nursery discriminated against daughter
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The SNP minister and his wife, Nadia El-Nakla, applied for a place for their two-year-old daughter Amal at Little Scholars Day Nursery in Broughty Ferry. The application was rejected by the nursery who said they did not have space for a new toddler to attend.
However, the couple claims just two days later a white friend of theirs was told there were spaces for her son on three afternoons every week.
A newspaper investigation carried out by the Daily Record produced similar results.
A fake application submitted for a child with a Muslim name was rejected, while a fake application for a toddler with a “white Scottish-sounding name” was accepted.
Mr Yousaf and his wife have now launched legal action.
They claim the nursery broke the Equality Act 2010 which outlaws discriminating against a person when providing a service.
They argue the nursery has been provided with evidence of direct discrimination and has failed to provide any “reasonable explanation” for not accepting Amal.
In a statement, 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.
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“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.”
Mr Yousaf and Ms El-Nakla have also reported the nursery to the watchdog, the Care Inspectorate, and asked the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate.
The couple’s lawyer said they were demanding the nursery provide proposals for a settlement, make a public apology and pay compensation to an anti-racist charity.
Little Scholars Day Nursery has been given 14 days to respond to the legal action.
The nursery has denied discrimination against the Scottish Health Secretary’s child.
A spokesperson said: “Our nursery is extremely proud of being open and inclusive to all and 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.”
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