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Breaking: A 'delighted' Kate Forbes gets an expanded portfolio as she is reappointed as cabinet secretary for finance and the economy but vows not to forget her constituency role which she takes 'very seriously'

By Scott Maclennan

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MSP Kate Forbes.
MSP Kate Forbes.

Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes has said she is "delighted" to be reappointed to the cabinet with an expanded portfolio.

Previously, she was in charge of finance but now has new responsibilities over economic strategy and tourism.

Ms Forbes has won praise for her handling of one of the most demanding jobs in government after stepping-in on the eve of the budget.

Her predecessor Derek Mackay was ousted after newspaper reports accused him of inappropriately texting a teenage boy.

At the time, the economic strategy part of the brief was placed in the hands of Fiona Hyslop, then culture secretary.

But after Ms Forbes won praise for her handling of one of the most demanding jobs in government it was returned to her earlier today.

The restored brief means Ms Forbes will have responsibility for the budget, fiscal policy and taxation.

But she will also be in charge of economic strategy, trade and inward investment, as well as city and regional growth deals, enterprise and the digital economy.

She has also proved to be a strong constituency MSP having secured a massive majority, winning more than 56 per cent of the vote.

Earlier it had been announced that Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing would leave the cabinet having been rural economy secretary, he was replaced by the MSP for Angus North and Mearns. Mairi Gougeon.

Ms Forbes said: "I am delighted to be reappointed cabinet secretary of finance with a new and expanded role with responsibilities for the economy and tourism.

"I take my responsibility as a representative for the Highlands seriously and this also allows me to focus on the Scottish economy at this critical time.

"We are all agreed that economic recovery is critical and that will be priority.

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