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REUTERS Russell Cheyne
REUTERS Russell Cheyne
UK News

Christian disappointment at Humza Yousaf's demotion offer to Kate Forbes

by Premier Journalist

Defeated leadership candidate and Free Church of Scotland member, Kate Forbes MSP, has resigned from the Scottish cabinet, after coming a close second in the leadership contest for leader of the SNP.

According to reports widely circulating in Scotland, she was offered the job of rural affairs secretary by the winner and new First Minister, Humza Yousaf. But Ms Forbes turned this down. She had previously been finance minister and now goes to the backbenches in Holyrood.

“Humza fails in his first task - offering his rival a major demotion - which funnily enough she declined”, tweeted Pete Lynas UK director of the Evangelical Alliance.

Kate Forbes has praised Mr Yousaf, who she said had her “full support”.

“He has been respectful, supportive & warm throughout”, she said in a tweet. “In whatever capacity I serve, I’ll support him. Pl(eased) after 5 long weeks, I’ll be delighted to see more of my family!”

Humza Yousaf has made Shona Robison - a close friend of Nicola Sturgeon - his deputy first minister. As social justice secretary, Ms Robison was behind controversial gender recognition legislation and also nominated Mr Yousaf for SNP leader.

In the leadership contest, the close margin of his victory over Ms Forbes, by 52% to 48%, led some of her supporters to urge Mr Yousaf to keep his pledge during his campaign to take a "big tent" rather than "inner circle" approach.

Speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland, Ms Robison denied a snub had been intended:

"He made clear that he wanted Kate to be in government and they spoke on a number of occasions over the last two days about a role in government," Ms Robison said.

"I understand the discussion was very cordial and was very much centred on what Kate's thoughts were.”

Kate Forbes made headlines during the election contest when she declared her personal opposition to same-sex marriage and having children outside of marriage.

Commenting on her performance, the EA’s Peter Lynas tweeted “Not a bad result for someone who was written off on day 1 for her orthodox Christian beliefs.”

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