Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and wife Nadia El-Nakla say they will proceed with legal action against a Broughty Ferry nursery over claims of discrimination.
The couple allege that two-year-old daughter Amal was denied a space at Little Scholars Day Nursery because of her “ethnic” name – while others were given a place.
The nursery has repeatedly denied the claims and insists it is “inclusive to all”.
The couple previously announced plans to take legal action against the nursery if it did not agree to their demands of a public apology and paying compensation to an anti-racism charity.
They gave the nursery a deadline of August 23 but claim the firm has declined to meet their requests.
A statement released by lawyer Aamer Anwar on Tuesday said: “On Monday August 9 2021, a claim was intimated on the Little Scholars Day Nursery, Broughty Ferry, Dundee for a breach of the Equality Act 2010, in respect of alleged discrimination suffered by Nadia El-Nakla and her daughter Amal Yousaf.
“We received a response from those acting for the nursery on Monday August 23 2021 on the last day of the deadline.
Response ‘fails to give reasoned explanation’
“This response refutes that there has been any discriminatory behaviour, but fails to provide a reasoned explanation, as to why there were repeated refusals to accommodate children with Muslim/minority ethnic names, whilst at the same time children with white/Scottish names were offered nursery places.
“This is all despite the fact that other bodies including the Care Inspectorate and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have expressed an interest in this case.
“Under the circumstances Nadia El-Nakla has no option but to proceed with court action against the nursery.”
Nursery ‘we refute the claims made’
A spokesperson for Little Scholars Day Nursery said: “A full and detailed response to the allegations made by Humza Yousaf and Nadia El-Nakla has been provided, however, we have yet to receive a response or even an acknowledgement to this.
“We abhor discrimination in all its forms and it is not and would not be tolerated at the nursery.
“Little Scholars Day Nursery takes take pride in being an inclusive nursery that is open and welcoming to all.
“We refute the claims made by Mr Yousaf and Ms El-Nakla and any proceedings raised will be robustly defended.”