Kate Forbes maternity cover

DFM to take on Finance and Economy portfolio.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney will take on responsibility for the Finance and Economy portfolio when Cabinet Secretary Kate Forbes starts her maternity leave next month.

The cover arrangements are being made as Ms Forbes is expecting her first child at the end of July. Mr Swinney will take on the Finance and Economy Portfolio from July 16 while retaining his Deputy First Minister role and responsibility for Covid Recovery. Some of Mr Swinney’s other current responsibilities will move portfolios.

Ms Forbes is the first serving Cabinet Secretary in the Scottish Government to take maternity leave. She will remain Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy while on leave, resuming her duties upon her return.

Ms 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.”

Mr 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.”

Mr Swinney will carry his current responsibilities over to the Finance Portfolio with the exception of responsibility for:

  • cross-government delivery of 'The Promise' to Care Experienced Young People, this will be the direct responsibility of the First Minister
  • cross-government co-ordination on UN treaty incorporation which will be taken on by the Education portfolio
  • the Local Governance Review & democratic renewal which will be taken on by the Social Justice portfolio
  • resilience, which will pass to the Justice portfolio


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