Rising star of Scottish politics to take centre stage on budget day – but who is Dingwall-based Highland MSP Kate Forbes?
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Despite Kate Forbes being one of the fastest rising stars in the SNP, her elevation to become Scotland’s de facto finance minister literally overnight would have been a surprise.
She first entered the Scottish Parliament as an MSP after the 2016 election representing the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency which she won with more than 47 per cent of the vote.
Miss Forbes is originally from Dingwall, where she is now based, although she spent part of her upbringing in Glasgow and India.
Before entering Holyrood she was an accountant in the banking industry having studied history at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.
She has served on Holyrood’s environment, climate change and land reform committee as well as the the rural economy and connectivity committee among others. She has also worked as parliamentary liaison officer for finance and the constitution.
As well as leading a campaign to ban plastic straws, Miss Forbes has participated in several cross-party groups at Holyrood including crofting, Gaelic, human trafficking, palliative care and rural policy.
Miss Forbes – who is a fluent Gaelic speaker – made history last year by becoming the first female MSP to give a plenary speech entirely in Gaelic in the current Scottish Parliament chamber.
During her time in Holyrood, she won the one to watch award in 2018 at the annual Scottish Politician of the Year awards in Edinburgh and was named a finalist for Holyrood magazine’s backbencher of the year for 2017/18.
In June 2018, she was appointed as minister for public finance and digital economy.
This afternoon she will take centre stage and deliver the Scottish budget for the first time.