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Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Christian politician appointed as Scotland's first female finance secretary

by Ruth Sax

Christian Kate Forbes has been appointed as Scotland's first finance minister.

The 29-year-old Scottish National Party MSP became the first woman to set out a budget at Holyrood or Westminster when she stepped in for former finance secretary Derek Mackay earlier this month.

Forbes was appointed to the post eleven days after being asked to present the 2020 budget. She had about 14 hours' notice after Mackay's sudden resignation following claims he had repeatedly texted a 16-year-old boy.

Tommy Sheppard, the Edinburgh SNP MP, was pleased to hear of Forbes' appointment. He said: "I would say Kate's appointment as Finance Secretary looks fresh. It's interesting to have a younger woman in the role. It will bring a new perspective to the role and that is to be welcomed, and it also gives the lie to some people who say the SNP is running out of steam. We have got steam in abundance."

Forbes is pro-life and was one of 14 SNP politicians who signed a letter urging the Scottish Government not to "rush" into Gender Recognition legislation, arguing it could change the definition of what it would mean to be male and female. 

Ms Forbes is one of the Scottish parliament's newest MSPs, elected in 2016. The appointment of Forbes will be confirmed in a vote by MSPs on Tuesday.

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