Scottish economy secretary Mairi McAllan expecting first child

McAllan will take leave from her role as wellbeing, economy, net zero and energy secretary in July.

Scottish economy secretary Mairi McAllan has announced she is expecting her first child.

McAllan, 31, revealed the news in an interview with The Sunday Mail newspaper.

She will take leave from her role as wellbeing, economy, net zero and energy secretary in the Scottish Government in July and told the newspaper she hopes to return to her post in March next year.

In a statement, 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 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.”

McAllan told The Sunday Mail she was around four months pregnant and is expecting the baby’s arrival in July.

Mairi McAllan MSP arrives for an SNP group meeting at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh. Picture date: Tuesday June 13, 2023.PA Media

She told the newspaper: “There was only so much longer I could hold in my stomach at work before letting people know.

“We are nearly five months on so there is not long to go before the baby is with us.

“I am intending to take leave from July, so the start of summer recess at parliament, and the baby is due at the end of July, and then I will be coming back around Easter time the following year.

“I think it means a lot to women to see you can be in a leadership position in government and a 31 years old mum at the same time and balance those two things.”

She married her childhood sweetheart Iain Renwick at the Biggar Kirk, South Lanarkshire last August.

McAllan will become the second cabinet secretary to take maternity leave after former finance secretary Kate Forbes.

In August 2022, Forbes became the first cabinet secretary to take maternity leave following the birth of her daughter, Naomi.

McAllan said First Minister Humza Yousaf has been “excellent” about her pregnancy.

She became the economy secretary earlier this month after Neil Gray was appointed health secretary following the resignation of Michael Matheson.

Previously, she had been the cabinet secretary for transport, net zero and just transition after she was appointed to the job in Yousaf’s first cabinet.

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

“I am pleased Mairi 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.”

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