Scotland Times

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Scotland's finance secretary Kate Forbes to take maternity leave

Scotland's finance secretary Kate Forbes to take maternity leave

Scotland's finance secretary Kate Forbes is pregnant and will be taking maternity leave in the summer, it has been announced.

It will be the first time a serving Scottish cabinet secretary has taken maternity leave.

Arrangements to cover her ministerial responsibilities while she is on leave will be set out by the first minister.

Ms Forbes has been finance secretary for two years, and has been tipped as a possible future first minister.

She has been working on finalising the Scottish government's budget plans for the coming year, which are due to be passed by MSPs on Thursday.

The government said she will remain as finance secretary while she is on maternity leave and will resume her duties upon her return on a date that has not yet been agreed.

In a statement, Ms Forbes said she and her husband Alasdair MacLennan - who she married in Dingwall in July of last year - were expecting their first child together later this year, and were "looking forward to welcoming a new member of our family".

She confirmed that she planned to take maternity leave from Holyrood, but said her office and team would still be available to help residents in her Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency.

Ms Forbes, 31, said her pregnancy had given her an "even deeper admiration for the thousands of women across the country who balance both work and personal responsibilities".

She added: "There might be particular challenges with being a politician in the public eye, whilst combating the side effects of pregnancy, but it is an experience which is familiar to countless women.

"Politics, like many workplaces, is often not renowned for being a supportive environment for parents.

"Hopefully I can play a small part in changing that, and demonstrating that it is possible to have children and a career, with the right support in place."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was pleased that Ms Forbes "will be able to enjoy those precious early months with her new arrival and her wider family".

She added: "This should never be a barrier to someone's career, especially women in senior leadership roles.

"That is why we are clear Kate is not leaving government. She will remain Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy while on leave and take up her duties again upon her return."

Ms Forbes - who is the only woman to have ever served as finance secretary - is a member of the Free Church of Scotland, which follows a strict interpretation of the Bible.

She described last year how she had often had to "tiptoe around" her Christian faith because of a "fear and a sense that the public will think we only speak for our own rather than speak for everybody".

Although Ms Forbes will be the first cabinet secretary to take maternity leave, Aileen Campbell took maternity leave while serving as minister for children and young people in December 2014.

Kate Forbes: "I will definitely be taking maternity leave and trying to figure out how on earth to be a mother."


Related Articles

Scotland Times
UK Island Orkney council to look at proposals to become territory of Norway
Woman Awarded Over £100,000 After Being Fired for Transgender Tweet
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
A Real woman
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Democracy? Not for UK. UK PM rejects Scottish independence referendum, cancel democracy in BVI
UK urged to brace for economic storm
Women's own body dissatisfaction appears to influence their judgment of other women's body sizes
Prince William To Move Family Into Cottage Near Queen Elizabeth II
BOOOOOOS: Tony Blair receives royal honour
Captured Britons sentenced to death in Ukraine
Barbados PM Mia A. Mottley among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People
Today's headlines
"Just One Of the Boys In School:" Years That Shaped Prince Charles
BVI Premier Rubbishes Claim Of Causing COI Delay
Comments on "Human Intelligence in a Digital Age" - A brilliant Speech by MI6 Chief Richard Moore, and the elephants neglected in the room
Bitcoin: BoE Deputy Gov wants to cancel democracy and protect the banks with regulations which infringe on people’s freedom, independence and benefits they get from their own money.
What are the Pandora Papers?
Taiwan-China relations at their 'worst in 40 years'
The attempt to hold accountable for the content of its clients' websites is like blaming Gutenberg for the NYT's fake news that dragged the US into the pointless war against the nuclear weapons Iraq never had