Usha Fowdar, owner of the Little Scholars Day Nursery in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, insisted there “never was any discrimination”, as she revealed that Nadia El-Nakla had dropped her legal action.
But she hit out at Humza Yousaf and his wife – who is an SNP councillor in Dundee – saying they had “colluded in a half-baked sting operation” against the nursery and had then “mounted a vicious and cynical campaign against us in the national media”.
Ms Fowdar said: “What sort of people do that?”
Mr Yousaf spoke out against the nursery in August 2021, after the family were refused a place there for their young daughter.
He alleged that while they were told there were “no available spaces” for their daughter Amal, then aged two, a white friend was told days later that there were places available for her two-year-old son.
Nursery owner Ms Fowdar said they had been vindicated after Ms El-Nakla dropped “baseless” legal action against the nursery.
But she said it was ” upsetting to have spent almost 18 months and tens of thousands of pounds defending our small nursery against their false claims”.
Ms Fowdar said: “Whilst we were 100 per cent prepared to see Ms El-Nakla in court, we are extremely pleased that this baseless legal action has been terminated.
“It bears repeating that, despite some extremely misleading headlines and spurious allegations, the Care Inspectorate identified administrative processes for improvement which had nothing to do with discrimination, because there never was any discrimination.
“Any attempt to twist this fact should be called out for what it is.”
The nursery owner continued: “Ms El-Nakla has, very sensibly, opted to drop her legal action in the face of our determination to defend ourselves and our hard-working employees.
“While I’m pleased our employees will be spared the stress of appearing as witnesses, in one sense I’m also disappointed, as the court case would have been extremely revealing and I’m utterly confident we would have prevailed.
“Despite this vindication, it has been deeply upsetting to have spent almost 18 months and tens of thousands of pounds defending our small nursery against their false claims.
“It beggars belief that, rather than pick up the phone to quickly resolve what was a simple misunderstanding, they colluded in a half-baked sting operation and then mounted a vicious and cynical campaign against us in the national media.”
In November 2021 the Care Inspectorate upheld a formal complaint made by Mr Yousaf about the nursery after he accused of discriminating against his daughter.
The inspectorate ordered the business to introduce measures so applications “are processed in a transparent and equitable manner” and to prove it is “being well-led and managed”.
A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said at the time that “the service did not promote fairness, equality and respect when offering placements”