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Kate Forbes appointed deputy first minister of Scotland | UK News

Kate Forbes appointed deputy first minister of Scotland | UK News
Kate Forbes appointed deputy first minister of Scotland | UK News

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Kate Forbes has been appointed deputy first minister of Scotland as John Swinney begins selecting his cabinet.

Mr Swinney was legally sworn in as Scotland’s seventh first minister at the Court of Session in Edinburgh earlier on Wednesday.

Mr Swinney pledged that Ms Forbes – who chose not to run in the SNP leadership race – would play a “significant part” in his government.

Ms Forbes, who served as finance secretary under Nicola Sturgeon, replaces Shona Robison as second in command.

Ms Robison, who was also finance secretary under Humza Yousaf, will remain in cabinet, with her role expected to be announced soon.

Kate Forbes arrives at Bute House, Edinburgh, after newly appointed First Minister of Scotland John Swinney was sworn in at the Court of Session. Picture date: Wednesday May 8, 2024.
Image:
Kate Forbes arriving at Bute House. Pic: PA

Mr Swinney said he was pleased to appoint Ms Forbes as his deputy, describing her as an “immensely talented politician”.

Ms Forbes, the MSP for Skye, Lochaber, and Badenoch, said: “I am deeply honoured to accept John’s invitation to be his deputy first minister.

“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.

“I look forward to working with John and cabinet colleagues, delivering for the people of Scotland and building a better country.”

Ms Forbes faced backlash over her religious beliefs during her leadership campaign to succeed Nicola Sturgeon.

She went on to narrowly lose to Mr Yousaf.

Although her views on social issues remain unpopular with some of her MSP colleagues, she was one of the few SNP ministers who did not delete her WhatsApp messages during the COVID pandemic.

John Swinney stands with the Seals of Scotland as he is sworn in as First Minister of Scotland and Keeper of the Scottish Seal,
Pic PA
Image:
John Swinney has been sworn in as Scotland’s first minister. Pic: PA

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Read more:
Who is John Swinney?

Mr Swinney has vowed to focus on the economy, jobs, the cost of living, the NHS, education, public services, and the climate crisis.

John Swinney poses for a photograph with his wife Elizabeth Quigley and son Matthew, 13, after he was sworn in as First Minister of Scotland and Keeper of the Scottish Seal, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Picture date: Wednesday May 8, 2024.
Image:
Mr Swinney with wife Elizabeth and son Matthew. Pic: PA

Mr Swinney has confirmed he has no intention of reinstating the power-sharing Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens and will instead take issues on a case-by-case basis with a minority administration of 63 MSPs.

He told opposition parties at the Scottish parliament: “If we want to fund our schools and hospitals, if we want to give our businesses a competitive edge, if we want to take climate action, if we want to eradicate child poverty, if we want to change people’s lives for the better, we have got to work together to do so.”

This news story is being updated and more details will be published as further cabinet appointments are announced.

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