Kate Forbes voted through by MSPs as Scotland's deputy first minister

Some 63 MSPs voted for the economy and Gaelic secretary while 57 voted against and the LibDems abstained.

Kate Forbes voted through in Holyrood as Scotland’s deputy first minister Getty Images

Kate Forbes has been officially voted in by MSPs in Holyrood as Scotland’s deputy first minister.

She won the support of 63 MSPs while 57 voted against her. Three LibDem MSPs abstained while six did not vote.

Ash Regan, who defected to Alba from the SNP, voted for Forbes.

Ivan McKee, an ally of Forbes, was also voted through as finance minister. The vote was 63 for and 47 against with ten abstentions.

It comes after John Swinney announced his Cabinet on Wednesday after becoming First Minister on Tuesday.

The Scottish Greens were among the opposition parties to vote against Forbes on Thursday with MSP Ross Greer citing her socially conservative views on LGBT rights, abortion and sex outside marriage.

“My belief in the good news brought by Jesus Christ is something I share with Mr Swinney and Ms Forbes, and in that we share something far more important than party affiliation or political ideology,” he said.

“Faith is not the issue here. The issue is I’m being asked to vote for someone who believes there’s something wrong with me.

“I will not do that.”

Earlier during FMQs, party co-leader Patrick Harvie said Forbes’ appointment risked Scotland returning back to the socially “repressive values of the 1950s”.

During the SNP leadership contest last year, Forbes said she would have voted against equal marriage.

But Scottish LibDem MSP Willie Rennie said Forbes “deserves a chance to govern” if she puts her personal religious views aside.

Following FMQs, Forbes vowed to “progress” the rights of all communities in Scotland.

“I am here to support the First Minister,” she said, “and together we serve all communities in Scotland as we further and progress the rights of every community in Scotland, and I look forward to doing my part in achieving the Government’s aims in that regard.

“Not just that, but when I joined Government yesterday in a clear role to support the First Minister, I signed up to collective responsibility, so I stand by the Government’s decisions and agenda to improve and progress the rights of all of Scotland’s communities.”

Patrick Harvie said many LGBT Scots were worried about the appointment of Kate Forbes.Getty Images

In his question to the First Minister during his inaugural FMQs, Harvie raised concerns that the “second most powerful job” in the Scottish Government has been given to someone “who has opposed LGBT people’s legal equality, expressed judgemental attitudes to abortion, and who has expressed the view that people who have families without being married are doing something wrong”.

Harvie asked: “Is this the Scottish Government’s vision for the future of Scotland – taking us back to the repressive values of the 1950s?

“I’m not yet sure that the First Minister acknowledge or understands just how worried many LGBT people and others are in Scotland at the moment.”

Swinney responded: “No it’s not and it’s not the direction of the Scottish Government.

“The Government will be led from the moderate, centre-left position that I have always occupied and that has always been the policy position of my party, and that has been supported by all of our members.”

He added that he would be the First Minister for “everyone” in Scotland.

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