Prime Minister (Meetings)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 6 June 2013.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond First Minister of Scotland, Leader, Scottish National Party

I received Ruth Davidson’s letter to me, which is dated 5 June, last night and I will give it due consideration, as she would expect.

From initially looking at her letter, I notice that Ruth Davidson has corrected her position from last week, when she suggested that parents are not represented on the Bonomy commission. In fact, the charities Sands and the Miscarriage Association are represented on the commission. Ruth Davidson will of course remember that it was a representative of Sands in Edinburgh who first brought the whole issue to light. I do not think that she can just dismiss those two important charities, which are represented along with other interests on the Bonomy commission.

The Bonomy commission has been established to take evidence, with that broad-based panel, so that we can get the situation across Scotland into order as quickly as possible. Lord Bonomy will report by the end of this year. It is about the future, best practice and the things that should be done so that, if necessary, we can have them in legislation to assure people that such activity and grief for parents will not happen again. That is really important.

On giving parents the answers to their concerns, that is of course what Elish Angiolini is doing in the independent inquiry in Edinburgh. Audits are taking place in the other places across Scotland that are affected. I have the most enormous confidence in Dame Elish Angiolini, who was formerly Scotland’s top law officer. There is no evidence whatsoever that her inquiry is being hindered in any possible way at present. When her inquiry is complete and when we have the proposals of the Bonomy commission, we will of course look to ensure that everything has been done correctly and that people have had their questions answered, as they are entitled.

I hope that, now that Ruth Davidson has that information, she will concede, first, that the Bonomy commission is indeed a broad-based commission and, secondly, that substantial efforts are being made to give parents answers, particularly in Edinburgh. I hope that she will also concede that the Bonomy commission has been charged with the responsibility of sorting out the position for the whole of Scotland.