Scottish minister demands investigation into nursery over alleged racism

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf (Getty)
Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf (Getty)

A Scottish cabinet minister has called for an investigation into alleged racial discrimination at a nursery that refused a place for his young daughter.

Humza Yousaf, the devolved government’s health secretary, said a Dundee nursery had claimed there were no places available for his two-year-old daughter Amal.

But he said a white friend who called to check was told there were places available on three afternoons a week at the same establishment.

Mr Yousaf said further applications had been made as a test by other family members and reporters, with “white-sounding” and “ethnic-sounding” names being respectively accepted and rejected on the same day.

A spokesperson for the owners of the Little Scholars nursery in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, said they were “extremely proud of being open and inclusive to all”, insisting that “any claim to the contrary is demonstrably false and an accusation that we would refute in the strongest possible terms”.

The spokesperson told the Daily Record newspaper, which first reported the claims: “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 religions, 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.”

Mr Yousaf said he and his wife had contacted the Care Inspectorate and were also seeking legal advice on the issue.

Mr Yousaf said: “We are fooling ourselves if we believe discrimination doesn’t exist in Scotland. I believe evidence we have proves our case beyond doubt.

“As well as reporting the nursery to the Care Inspectorate we are also seeking legal advice.”

The minister, who has played a high-profile role in Scotland’s response to the Covid pandemic, said that contacting the Care Inspectorate with their concerns was “not a step my wife and I have taken lightly”.

He tweeted: “After our nursery application for our daughter was refused a 2nd time, my wife asked her white Scottish friend to put in an application for a child the same age. Within 24hrs of refusing our application my wife’s friend’s was accepted.”

Mr Yousaf went on to claim that “three white-Scottish applicants” had been “offered tours of nursery and spaces, often within less than 24hrs of applicants with Muslim names being rejected, including application for my daughter”.

He added: “It doesn't matter what my position or how senior in Govt I may be, some will always see me, my wife and children by our ethnicity or religion first.

“We have given Little Scholars nursery every opportunity for an explanation for the disparity in treatment, none has been forthcoming.

“With no explanation from Little Scholars, we will pursue the truth and get answers we deserve.”

Read More

Boris Johnson news – live: More voters blame EU for Brexit trade problems as PM’s rating down 35 points

Scottish Police ‘changed Operation Bunter codename to avoid offending Boris Johnson’

‘All evidence’ points to Iran for drone attack that killed British citizen, says UK government

Airlines plead for green list move to save summer holidays and protect jobs

UK’s 2050 target for net-zero emissions ‘too far away’, says Boris Johnson’s climate change spokesperson

Brexit: Australia trade deal may lead to deal with South America, where intensive farming destroys rainforests

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting