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Finance secretary Kate Forbes announces she is expecting her first child

Kate Forbes and husband Ali Maclennan have announced they are expecting their first child together
Kate Forbes and husband Ali Maclennan have announced they are expecting their first child together

Finance secretary Kate Forbes has announced she and her partner are expecting their first child.

The Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP wed husband Ali Maclennan last summer in Dingwall.

The announcement means that Ms Forbes will likely become the first-ever serving cabinet secretary to go on maternity leave.

The new arrival will add to the couple’s family which already consists of teenage daughters Rachael, Rebekah and Zara.

The couple tied the knot at the home of Ross County FC last summer

Break from parliament

Ms Forbes has signalled that she intends to take a break from Holyrood.

She has moved to reassure constituents that her office will continue to support local residents throughout that period.

Ms Forbes said: “My husband Ali and I are absolutely delighted to announce that we are expecting a baby later this year.

“All being well, we’re looking forward to welcoming a new member of the family in the summer.

“We have been incredibly grateful for the kind messages of support from family, friends, constituents and colleagues.

“In the meantime, I have a very busy few months ahead including the final stage of the budget this week and supporting people through the cost of living crisis.

“I will be taking maternity leave when the baby arrives – but I want to reassure constituents that my office will remain open, and my constituency team will continue to provide help and support, as usual, to the residents of Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.”

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes as she delivers the Scottish Budget to the Scottish Parliament.

Admiration for women who balance work and personal responsibilities

She continued: “I have an even deeper admiration for the thousands of women across the country who balance both work and personal responsibilities.

“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 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.”

Ms Forbes has expressed her delight

‘This should never be a barrier to someone’s career’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon offered her congratulations.

She said: “On behalf of the Scottish Government, I want to offer the warmest of congratulations to Kate, Ali and their family on this lovely news.

“I am pleased Kate will be able to enjoy those precious early months with her new arrival and her wider family.

This should never be a barrier to someone’s career, especially women in senior leadership roles.

That’s 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.”

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