Kate Forbes officially sworn in as Scotland's deputy first minister

The SNP MSP took the oath of office in Gaelic as she was formally made John Swinney's second in command.

Kate Forbes has officially been sworn in as Scotland’s deputy first minister during a ceremony at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP took the oath of office in Gaelic as she was formally made John Swinney’s second in charge.

MSPs voted her in on Thursday with 63 MSPs for and 57 against, including the Scottish Greens.

Swinney – who succeeded Humza Yousaf as FM on Tuesday – also made Forbes economy and Gaelic secretary.

The SNP MSP lost the leadership race last year when she ran against Yousaf but decided to back Swinney following talks with the now-First Minister.

Kate Forbes is Scotland's newest deputy first minister.STV News

She takes over the role of deputy from Shona Robison, who will remain Scotland’s finance secretary.

Forbes previously served as finance secretary under Nicola Sturgeon before going on maternity leave, during which the former FM quit.

Her appointment by Swinney sparked controversy among some MSPs, particularly the Scottish Greens, with the party being critical of her views on social issues.

Forbes – who is a member of the Free Church of Scotland – previously said she would have voted against equal marriage.

But she has pledged to “progress” the rights of all communities in Scotland.

It comes after Swinney chaired his first Cabinet meeting since becoming First Minister.

He was officially sworn in as Scotland’s seventh FM on Wednesday and appointed his Cabinet that day.

On Friday morning, he chaired its first meeting at Bute House in Edinburgh.

Swinney said: “Today, my colleagues and I embark on a new chapter as we collectively work to build a better, brighter future for the people of Scotland.

“It is my greatest honour to lead us forward on that journey – one that will drive economic growth, tackle the climate crisis and eradicate the scourge of child poverty in our country once and for all.”

Kate Forbes became Scotland’s youngest ever deputy first minister this week as John Swinney announced a largely unchanged Cabinet team.

Robison, who had been deputy first minister under Yousaf, lost that position but remains in the Cabinet – keeping her finance brief and also taking on responsibility for local government.

Swinney’s Cabinet includes eight women – thought to be the most ever – and two other men.

Neil Gray, who was appointed health secretary earlier this year, stays in the post, while Angus Robertson remains constitution, external affairs and culture secretary.

Former teacher Jenny Gilruth remains education secretary, Angela Constance retains her position as justice secretary, and Fiona Hyslop continues as transport secretary.

Mairi McAllan remains in the Cabinet but with a slightly slimmed down brief – she had been the net zero, wellbeing economy and energy secretary, but now has responsibility for net zero and energy.

Shirley-Anne Sommerville and Mairi Gougeon also continue in their previous roles – as social justice secretary, and rural affairs, land reform and islands secretary respectively.

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