Minister pregnant

McAllan reveals she is expecting her first child

Mairi McAllan speaking alongside Sara Thiam of Prosper (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy, Màiri McAllan, has announced that she is expecting her first child and will take maternity leave later this year.

Ms McAllan, 31, who delivered her inaugural speech in the role on Friday, will retain the position while on leave, resuming her duties upon her return.

She notified the First Minister of her good news at the beginning of the year, before being appointed to the role in the recent Cabinet reshuffle.

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

Ms McAllan married long-time partner Iain Renwick in August. She will become the second cabinet secretary to take maternity leave. In 2022, Kate Forbes, then finance secretary, took leave for the birth of Naomi, her daughter.

Ms McAllan said: “My husband Iain and I are delighted that we are expecting our first child in the summer, and very much look forward to welcoming this new addition to our family.

“In the meantime, I am laser focused on delivering on my portfolio priorities including growing Scotland’s wellbeing economy, tackling the climate and nature emergencies and seizing the era-defining economic opportunities that lie ahead of us in our energy transition

“I will spend the coming months setting the groundwork for all I believe needs to be done pursuant to this. That way, work can continue in my absence and I can seamlessly pick back up on my return.

“I hope my example will send a strong signal to all women and girls – and to Scotland more generally – that starting a family should never be a barrier to holding senior positions within any organisation and that, as a nation, we are stronger when our politics and government reflect our society.”

The First Minister said: “I want to offer my very best wishes and congratulations to Màiri, Iain, and their family on this fantastic news, I am incredibly happy for them all.

“I am pleased Màiri has agreed to remain Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy while on leave, and take up her duties again upon her return after spending some treasured time with the exciting new addition to her family.”

Ministers are deemed to be ‘holders of public office’ and are not contracted employees of either the Scottish Government or the Scottish Parliament – it is the Scottish Parliament that is responsible for paying Ministers and MSPs. As such, Ministers and MSPs do not automatically qualify for statutory or contractual maternity leave.

Decisions about granting and the duration of the equivalent of formal maternity leave are entirely at the discretion of the First Minister, following discussions with the individual Cabinet Secretary or Minister.

Ms McAllan was appointed to the Economy brief after Neil Gray was appointed health secretary following the resignation of Michael Matheson.

She was brought her Net Zero responsibilities with her from her previously position as Secretary for Transport.

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