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30/04/14 12:09

Media briefing - Wednesday 30 April 2014

Media Briefing by the First Minister's Official Spokesperson 30 April 2014

The First Minister’s Official Spokesperson advised journalists of Public Health Minister Michael Matheson’s comments on the Mortonhall Crematorium report:

Mr Matheson said:

“My thoughts today are with all the families affected. I can’t begin to imagine how they must be feeling to not only lose a child, but then be put through the further trauma this report highlights.

“It is a welcome step that the Council have now published the report and I would expect the local authority to urgently implement Dame Elish’s recommendations. While I accept that practices changed at the crematorium in 2011, it is still completely unacceptable that parents and families have been subject to the emotional turmoil that those in Edinburgh have faced.

“In light of the report’s findings the Council must do their utmost to restore public confidence in their crematoriums and I hope the fact that an independent investigation has now be completed will go some way towards achieving this.

“I am clear that no parent should ever have to go through a similar experience to those affected by practices like this, at any crematorium in Scotland. We are absolutely committed to changing the law and a wide-ranging bill is already planned. On that basis we established the independent Commission, chaired by Lord Bonomy, to examine current infant cremation policy, practice and legislation. Lord Bonomy has advised he expects to deliver their national recommendations to Ministers by the end of May. These recommendations will shape and inform the work of our planned legislation.

“The findings from Dame Elish’s report will be used to inform the wider national review and any recommendations for government will be looked at by the Commission as part of their investigation. This work is entirely independent of government and the Commission must be able to complete its work before we can decide on any next steps.”