FINANCE Secretary Kate Forbes and her husband have announced the birth of their daughter.

The SNP MSP is the first Scottish Cabinet secretary to take maternity leave while remaining in post, and is set to return to work at some point in 2023, with deputy first minister John Swinney taking over her brief in the meantime.

Forbes, along with her husband Ali Maclennan, announced on Monday that their daughter Naomi was safely delivered at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

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Arriving on Thursday August 4, little Naomi was born weighing seven pounds and 13 ounces. Forbes’s team say they are both now at home and doing well.

Announcing the birth, Forbes said: “We are delighted to welcome little Naomi into the world. It is a wonderful blessing to have a happy, healthy baby in our arms.

“Our family would like to record our most sincere thanks to the midwifery and nursing team at Raigmore for all their help. They were with us every step of the way, regularly going beyond the call of duty in their care and compassion for both me and Naomi.

“Pregnancy, labour and the early days with a newborn aren't easy, as every new parent knows. Every mother’s experience is unique. Access to such excellent NHS healthcare in the community and at the hospital has made all the difference to us.

“It’s been hard not to think about pregnant or new mothers in other parts of the world right now, particularly those escaping war zones like Ukraine or facing horrendous distress in Afghanistan.

"My prayer is that little girls around the world, like Naomi, grow up in a world of greater peace and security.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led tributes to the newborn, writing on social media: "Lovely news. Welcome to the world, Naomi - and many congratulations, Kate & Ali."

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Public health minister Maree Todd added: "Absolutely delighted for you all - congratulations & welcome wee one."

SNP MSP Gillian Martin said: "Welcome beautiful Naomi! Wonderful news - congratulations to you all!"

While LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton wrote: "This is wonderful news, Kate. Huge congratulations!"

Forbes will now take a period of maternity leave and will return at some point in 2023.

Her constituency office team will continue to assist constituents as usual and can be contacted at or on 01349 863 888.