First Minister's IWD 2022 speech and pardons for witchcraft: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

  1. Internal Scottish Government correspondence regarding the First Minister’s International Women’s Day Speech which she gave to Parliament on the 8 March 2022. Please provide all correspondence related to that speech between the dates of 22 February 2022 and 8 March 2022 inclusive.
  2. An email search of the term “Witchcraft” in correspondence received by or from the First Minister’s office for the dates between 22 February 2022 and 8 March 2022 inclusive.
  3. Any meetings the First Minister or the Scottish Government has had with Natalie Don MSP regarding her Bill to pardon those convicted under the Witchcraft Act 1563.


In response to your first two questions, I enclose a copy of some of the information you have requested.

Some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government’s website. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy. The links are: International Women's Day 2022: First Minister's statement - 8 March 2022

Scottish Government Twitter account 

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under section 29(1)(a) (policy formulation), section 29(1)(b) (Ministerial communications), section 30(b)(i) (free and frank exchange of views), 30(b) (ii) (free and frank provision of advice for the purpose of deliberation) and section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why the exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

In response to your third question, I can confirm that on 25 November 2021 a phone took place between the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Natalie Don MSP during which her proposal to introduce a Member’s Bill was discussed.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

202200287654_Annex to reply
Charlie Pound FOI - Doc 1
Charlie Pound FOI - Doc 2
Charlie Pound FOI - Doc 3
Charlie Pound FOI - Doc 4
Charlie Pound FOI - Doc 5
Charlie Pound FOI - Doc 6


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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