Humza Yousaf has been named as the incoming first minister of Scotland, ahead of Christian candidate Kate Forbes. After weeks of conversations about the Free Church attendees faith – is Forbes’ belief in God the reason she didn’t take the top spot?
It’s a question asked by many during Forbes’ campaign for leadership, as her conservative stance on same-sex marriage and sex before marriage was heavily criticised.
But, according to Shona Haslam, chief executive of Logos Scotland and previously leader of Scottish Borders Council, the media may have misrepresented Forbes' views and how her faith influenced the campaign.
Haslam told Premier Christian News: “What I have seen over the last few weeks is that her faith has been less and less of an issue, and so I don’t necessarily think it was her faith was the issue – perhaps the media interpretation of her faith may have been the issue, but certainly not her faith.”
She continued: "I think there's a lack of understanding in the way that it was reported possibly.
“They were saying that if Kate had won then legislation would have changed, whereas Kate never actually said that. She was very clear that legislation as it stood would continue to stand."
Despite the challenges faced during the campaign, Forbes relied on her Christian values to guide her throughout, says Haslam.
Ultimately, though Forbes did not emerge as the winner of the leadership race, her experience offers valuable insights into the intersection of faith and politics. As Haslam concluded, "I think this will give it a renewed impetus. All the candidates have had to make promises on independence during the election campaign, and they'll be expected to stick to them."
Humza Yousaf will succeed Nicola Sturgeon tomorrow. Forbes has previously said she wouldn’t run twice, and that this leadership bid was her one and only attempt.
Commenting, Haslam said: “I don't think anybody can be certain of anything that's going to happen in the future. I think promises like that during an election campaign always last for the moment and tend not to carry on.
“I remember Steve Redgrave at the end of an Olympic rowing match saying he would never set foot in a boat again and then went on to win the gold medal at the next Olympics.
“I would say that things said in the heat of an election campaign had to be taken with a slight pinch of salt.”