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Politician whose faith was put in the spotlight is appointed Scotland's deputy first minister

by Kelly Valencia

Kate Forbes has been appointed Scotland’s new deputy first minister.

The former finance minister will return to the cabinet after being appointed by the nation’s new first minister John Swinney.

Forbes said she was "deeply honoured" to accept the position.

The 34-year-old politician will return to government after over a year as a backbench MSP. She had resigned following a close defeat to Humza Yousaf in the SNP leadership contest in 2023.

The SNP leadership contender, who has been very vocal about her Christian faith, lost support from some of her most senior backers after saying she wouldn't have voted to bring in same-sex unions.

She also said that having children outside of marriage "would be wrong" according to her faith and is something she would personally "seek to avoid."

Forbes grew up in Scotland and then in India as her father taught the Bible and managed the finances of a group of mission hospitals.

Elected to parliament in 2016 at age 26, the MSP for Skye, Lochaber, and Badenoch became Scotland's first female finance secretary in 2020.

Reacting to her appointment, Forbes said: "This is a moment of extraordinary privilege for me. Having previously served in cabinet, I know the duty that all ministers have to reflect the government's priorities and the missions that drive them."

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