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Local constituency MSP Kate Forbes and her husband Ali Maclennan are expecting their first child together in the summer, it has been confirmed.
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch and her husband wed last summer in Dingwall and also have three teenage daughters – Rachael, Rebekah and Zara.
The announcement means that Ms Forbes will likely become the first serving Cabinet Secretary to go on maternity leave.
She will take a break from Holyrood, but has reassured constituents her constituency office and team will continue supporting local residents throughout that period as normal.
Ms 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.
‘We have been incredibly grateful for the kind messages of support from family, friends, constituents and colleagues.
‘In the meantime, I have a very busy few months ahead, including the final stage of the Budget this week and supporting people through the cost of living crisis.
‘I will be taking maternity leave when the baby arrives – but I want to reassure constituents that my office will remain open, and my constituency team will continue to provide help and support, as usual, to the residents of Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.’
The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy added: ‘I have an even deeper admiration for the thousands of women across the country who balance both work and personal responsibilities.
‘There might be particular challenges with being a politician in the public eye whilst combating the side effects of pregnancy, but it is an experience which is familiar to countless women.
‘Politics, like many workplaces, is not renowned for being a supportive environment for parents. Hopefully I can play a small part in changing that and demonstrating that it is possible to have children and a career, with the right support in place.’