John Swinney to cover Kate Forbes' role during maternity leave

The finance secretary is the first cabinet minister in the Scottish Government to take maternity leave.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney to cover finance secretary Kate Forbes’ role during maternity leave Getty Images
Kate Forbes announced her pregnancy earlier this year.

The Scottish Government’s finance secretary’s job is to be covered by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney while she is on maternity leave.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Swinney will take on the responsibility for the finance and economy portfolio in addition to his usual duties as Deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for Covid recovery.

Forbes is expected to start her maternity leave on July 16.

While she is off she will retain her title as cabinet secretary for finance and economy.

She will resume her duties on her return, however no date has yet been set for when that may be.

Forbes is the first serving cabinet secretary in the Scottish Government to take maternity leave.

Announcing her pregnancy earlier this year, Forbes said: “My husband Ali and I are absolutely delighted to announce that we are expecting a baby later this year.

“All being well, we’re looking forward to welcoming a new member of the family in the summer.”

Swinney said: “This is a really exciting time for Kate and everyone is incredibly happy about her news.

“The First Minister has asked me to cover the finance and economy portfolio until Kate’s return and, given this is something of a return for me, I am aware of the importance of the role. It is a real honour to take it on.”

Forbes said: “I am looking forward to the new arrival as my husband Ali and I welcome our baby into the world.

“I will therefore be taking a period of maternity leave and it is good to know that my portfolio will be in the very best of hands. John Swinney’s vast experience in this brief means there is no-one better suited to taking on this role. I know that, during my time away, he will continue to drive forward this government’s ambitious programme of economic transformation and support for our public services.”