The group which vigorously opposed Scotland’s Named Person scheme has been given an award for its work.
Yesterday, the No to Named Persons campaign (NO2NP) won Public Campaigner of the Year at The Herald Scottish Politician of the Year Awards 2016.
The award, organised by The Herald Newspaper, recognises the “individual or group that has best engaged with the political system to change legislation”.
NO2NP was set up in 2014 and is supported by The Christian Institute, Scottish Parent Teacher Council, Schoolhouse, CARE, The Manifesto Club, Tymes Trust, Big Brother Watch and the Family Education Trust.
It is also supported by individuals including: sociologist Dr Stuart Waiton, Liz Smith MSP, social work consultant Maggie Mellon and child welfare expert Joy Knight.
The award was collected on behalf of NO2NP by media consultant Tom Hamilton, alongside Maggie Mellon and solicitor Elaine Motion.
— NO2NP (@NO2NPcampaign) October 27, 2016
‘Icing on the cake’
Simon Calvert, spokesman for NO2NP, said: “We are absolutely delighted by this award, which is a recognition of the efforts of everyone involved with the campaign, including the tens of thousands of families who have joined us in saying ‘No to Named Persons’.
“It’s been an excellent year for the campaign, with a constant stream of initiatives mobilising our supporters and drawing media attention to the countless intrusions and blunders associated with the Named Person scheme.
“On top of this, groups and parents involved with the campaign secured a terrific victory in the Supreme Court, which struck down the central provisions of the scheme.”
Mr Calvert added: “This award is the icing on the cake but the campaign is far from over. We and our supporters will continue to keep an eye on the scheme and all its manifestations.”
The Named Person scheme sought to appoint a state official for every child in Scotland to monitor their ‘wellbeing’ – defined as “happiness”. This included powers to access and share private data on children and parents, and to provide ‘advice’.
A legal challenge by groups involved in the NO2NP campaign resulted in the UK Supreme Court halting nationwide implementation of the plans.
On 28 July, judges ruled that the data sharing provisions of the legislation behind the Named Person scheme breach the right to a private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.
New Named Person legislation may still be put forward but it would be impossible for it to operate in the way that the Scottish Government originally intended.