New blow for named person as committee tells SNP to go back to the drawing board

27 Oct 2017

Liz Smith (2)

The SNP’s plan to appoint a state guardian for every young person in Scotland has been dealt a fresh blow by an influential Holyrood committee.

MSPs on the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee have told ministers that the code of practice element of the named person proposals needs to be “revisited”.

The SNP was already in retreat over the controversial policy after the Supreme Court ruled elements of it unlawful.

Now its revised plans to address those concerns in relation to the code of practice and data sharing have also come under fire.

The committee said today: “We recommend that the Government revisits its approach to the Code of Practice. Specifically, we want it to consider including the Code in subordinate legislation and, more importantly, giving the Parliament a vote on the final version.”

Shadow education secretary Liz Smith said this latest development proved the named person policy was in “serious difficulty” and urged ministers to the scrap the idea altogether.

Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith said:

“This is confirmation that the Scottish Government’s attempts to revise named person policy is in serious difficulty.

“Holyrood’s Education Committee has now taken five evidence sessions in which the vast majority of submissions have made it abundantly clear that they do not know where they stand when it comes to the code of practice.

“This is because the SNP government has failed to publish a workable code.

“Instead we have something that will likely bear little resemblance to the final draft.

“The Scottish Government should do the decent thing and scrap the named person policy, and start again when it comes to prioritising the protection of vulnerable young people.”

To see the release from the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee, visit: