In a first for The Scottish Government, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes, has announced that she and her husband are expecting their first child later this year. Ms Forbes plans to take maternity leave from summer 2022.

Ms Forbes is the first serving Cabinet Secretary in The Scottish Government to take maternity leave. She is not leaving government and will remain Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy while on leave, resuming her duties upon her return. The return date has yet to be agreed.

Arrangements to cover the Cabinet Secretary’s Ministerial responsibilities will be set out by the First Minister in due course.

Ms Forbes said: “My husband Ali and I are absolutely thrilled to announce we are expecting a baby later this year and we’re looking forward to welcoming a new member of our family.

“I am equally pleased to be the first serving Cabinet Secretary to take maternity leave in Scotland which I hope sends a clear and strong message that holding a senior leadership role in the public eye should not be a barrier to starting a family.  

“For now, I remain focused on tackling the biggest issues of the day, including passing the 2022-2023 Scottish Budget later this week.”

The First Minister 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.”

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy Kate Forbes MSP PHOTO courtesy of The Scottish Government