FM challenged

Forbes : ‘I wanted to remain Finance Secretary’

Kate Forbes with her daughter at the SNP leadership declaration (pic: Terry Murden)

Kate Forbes has challenged claims by First Minister Humza Yousaf’s team that she rejected a cabinet position in order to enjoy a better work-life balance.

In an interview she said she wanted to remain as Finance Secretary and that she turned down the the rural affairs role offered to her because of differences with the government’s Green party partners on issues such as fishing.

Her remarks contradict comments by Shona Robison, Ms Forbes’s replacement in the finance role, who said the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP told Mr Yousaf that she wanted to spend more time with her family.

Speaking to the Holyrood Sources podcast Ms Forbes said she knew she had said “goodbye” to a better work-life balance when she decided to break her maternity leave to campaign for the leadership and a better future for her daughter.

Following her narrow defeat on Monday, she had hoped to resume her finance role as it was a job she knew she “absolutely loved and could do well”.

She declared that the Green Party would be “pretty delighted” her leadership bid failed.

“It’s no secret that I think the Greens were pretty delighted with Monday’s result because a lot of what I had been saying, is, as it were, on the fault lines that exist between the SNP and the Greens,” said Ms Forbes.

“We’ve always been a national party. In other words, we represent fishermen and we represent farmers and we represent big business, small business, medium-sized business and we represent workers.

“We have to be really careful that we are not neglecting key parts of our economy and key parts of particularly the rural economy.”

She did not say whether she would have ended the SNP’s agreement with the Greens if she had won the leadership battle.

However, she did not believe her views opposing same-sex marriage had made a crucial difference in the leadership vote.

“I think that the wider public and indeed SNP members want their politicians to be honest and direct with them and then they can make up their own mind,” she said.

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