THE leader of a pro-independence faith organisation has backed the promotion of Kate Forbes to Finance Secretary after concerns were raised within the SNP over what the move could mean for LGBT rights.

Dave Thompson, the convenor of Christians for Independence (CFI) and a former SNP MSP, said Forbes’s appointment showed his party was a “broad church”.

He said: “The appointment of Kate Forbes as Finance Secretary is very welcome and clearly shows the SNP is, indeed, a broad church with a wide pool of diverse talent and belief, reflective of Scotland as a whole.”

He referred to an unnamed source quoted in The National’s report who expressed concern about whether Forbes’s connection to Christians for Independence could influence her thinking on sensitive issues such as reform of legislation affecting gender recognition.

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“The article, however, used a source who commented on concerns about gender recognition and LGBT issues and displayed a distinct lack of understanding of the Christian faith and negative connotations of Christians for Independence”, Thompson stated.

“As one of those mentioned in this context and as Convenor of CFI since our formation in 2009 I feel readers would benefit from knowing who we are and what we stand for, so that they don’t form the wrong impression about us.” He said CFI is a non-party organisation and welcomed all Christian believers.

He added that it held the view independence would give Scotland the opportunity to build a “fair, just and compassionate society”.

He went on to say CFI’s core of belief is Christ’s command to “Love our neighbours as we Love ourselves”, stating: “As Christian views are very diverse, we do not take a position on those matters which are particularly controversial such as gay marriage, GRA, abortion and assisted suicide, which are left to the conscience of our individual members.”