Kate Forbes appointed Deputy First Minister

Kate Forbes

Kate Forbes has been appointed Deputy First Minister by new First Minister John Swinney.

Forbes has been a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency since the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

She served as the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy from 2020 to 2023 and became the first Cabinet Secretary to take maternity leave in 2022.

Swinney said:  “I am very pleased to appoint Kate as Deputy First Minister and look forward to working with her in this new government.

“She is an immensely talented politician, and her new role will prove critical as we focus on our key commitments of eradicating child poverty, investing in public services and supporting economic growth.”

Forbes 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.”

The appointment followed news that Shona Robison stepped down as Deputy First Minister and formally tendered her resignation to the First Minister.

Swinney announced a new Scottish Cabinet of 11, with a majority of women.

Forbes will take on the economy portfolio and responsibility for Gaelic. Robison remains in Cabinet with responsibility for finance and local government. The rest of the Cabinet:

  • Jenny Gilruth remains Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills
  • Angela Constance remains Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs
  • Màiri McAllan remains in Cabinet with responsibility for Net Zero and Energy
  • Fiona Hyslop remains Cabinet Secretary for Transport
  • Neil Gray remains Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care
  • Shirley-Anne Somerville remains Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice
  • Angus Robertson remains Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture
  • Mairi Gougeon remains Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands