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Kate Forbes: I struggled to hold back morning sickness while delivering Scottish Budget

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.

Kate Forbes has revealed how she struggled to deliver her Scottish Budget in Holyrood due to morning sickness, as she opens up on balancing politics with parenthood.

The SNP finance secretary said she had been enduring one of the “worst weeks” of her pregnancy so far and feared she would have to stop her speech to be sick.

The senior minister announced on social media last week she is set to have her first baby with husband Ali Maclennan.

It means Ms Forbes, 31, will become the first Scottish Government cabinet secretary to take maternity leave since Holyrood opened.

The top SNP MSP tied the knot with widower Ali last summer and is the stepmother of his three daughters.

‘Difficult’ balance

Ms Forbes said it can be “difficult” balancing her government role with family life as she acknowledged struggling to give her speech.

The finance chief told the Daily Record: “That was one of the worst weeks I had, where I just couldn’t keep anything down.

“Budget morning I was just sitting eating a cornflake every few minutes to try and build up my strength for the day.

“I was really nervous I would feel sick. Obviously you do get caught up in the moment and I was able to focus but I was watching the clock until the end.”

You feel like you are leaving the family to fend for themselves.

Kate Forbes MP

On her experiences as a mum so far, she added: “It is difficult and, at the beginning, I felt like I was torn and doing both jobs badly, particularly when you are trying to build roots with a family and be there for the girls.

“You feel like you are leaving the family to fend for themselves.”

The finance secretary was congratulated by senior SNP colleagues including Nicola Sturgeon as well as political rivals last week.

United by parenthood

Scottish Tory MP Andrew Bowie revealed on the same day he was set to become a dad and said he was “united” with Ms Forbes on wanting what is best for their children.

He wrote: “So, today I and Kate Forbes announced we are both expecting children and it struck me that…whatever differences we have politically, we are far more united in wanting a better future for our children than anything that divides us.

“And surely that is a positive thing.”

Ms Forbes replied: “Big congrats Andrew – so delighted for your family.

“We can compare notes on surviving job + baby! Pass on best wishes to your other half.”

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