I am delighted to report to you that Michael Russell, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, tonight pledged his support for Florence and Precious Mhango. On behalf of the Scottish Government he was hosting a 25th Anniversary celebration for Scottish Refugee Council at Edinburgh Castle (I'm pictured here at the reception). It is unusual for government ministers to do this but the case for this mother and child is such a compelling and genuine one that we can't tackle it in the usual way.
It was entirely fitting that he should make mention of them on a night when we are celebrating the fantastic work of SRC and in turn the tremendous contribution that immigrants have always made to our country.
So tonight he said that he and the Scottish Government were backing their pleas to be allowed to stay in Scotland where they will be safe and they will be together. I am very very hopeful that the new government in Westminster will feel the same. Meantime I am extremely grateful to Michael Russell who did this without any request from me.