Scotland’s Deputy First Minister has refused to meet campaigners who opposed the Named Person scheme, despite promising to carry out an ‘open and inclusive consultation’.
John Swinney refused to meet with the No to Named Persons (NO2NP) group, which has campaigned against the plans since 2014.
In July, UK Supreme Court judges unanimously ruled that key information sharing provisions within the legislation contravene human rights law.
NO2NP represents a number of organisations, including The Christian Institute, whose judicial review of the plans was upheld by the Supreme Court.
In addition, more than 36,000 Scots have signed NO2NPs online petition against the introduction of the Named Person scheme.
Swinney dismissed the prospect of meeting NO2NP this week while he was being grilled by MSPs in Holyrood’s Education Committee.
During the session he admitted that there is an issue with “public trust and confidence” in the Named Person scheme and pledged to address this.
Spokesman for NO2NP Simon Calvert said: “It’s a pity he has declined to meet with us and hear our views in addition to those of his supporters.
“We represent a significant number of concerned mums and dads who fought long and hard – including donating their own money – to fight a law which they correctly said was illegal.”
He added that Mr Swinney, “accepts there is massive public mistrust of the scheme but refuses to engage with those who mistrust it most. Judging from the polls, that’s around 70% of the population that he’s refusing to engage with.”
“It’s an odd take on democracy when elected politicians only listen to those that agree with them”, he added.
Implementation of the Named Person scheme has been delayed by at least a year, in order to provide sufficient time for the scale of revision needed to make the plans lawful.