Kate Forbes has issued an open letter to SNP members who have yet to vote in the party leadership contest.

In the letter below, Forbes points to her stepping up to deliver the Budget as an example of her leadership.

Her promotion to senior government was the result of the Derek Mackay scandal in 2020, which led her to deliver the Scottish Budget with less than 24 hours' notice.

The letter is aimed at members who have yet to vote.

Dear member,

Many of you, like me, will be hurt and bemused by the extraordinary turmoil in our party over the last days.

If anyone was in any doubt that this needs to be a change election for the SNP, recent events and resignations confirm the core message of my campaign: continuity won’t cut it.

Indeed, since the very beginning, I have built my campaign on the importance of honesty, integrity and reform.

We need change in party and government, in culture and in policies.

A prerequisite for effective change is trust.

Restoring trust and transparency in the way that the SNP carries out its internal business and restoring the confidence of people in Scotland are two sides of the same coin.

We need to run both our party and our Government based on core principles – honesty, competence, transparency, hard work, humility and accountability.

Let me be clear about why I’m standing in this election, and why I haven’t given up, when it would have been easier to do so.

I love the SNP, and I am passionate about Scotland’s future as an independent, fair and wealthy nation.

A few years ago, scandal rocked the SNP and I was asked to step up and deliver the budget with only a few hours’ notice. I did it, for my party and for the people of this country. That is the mark of who I am. I will not shy away from difficult times. Instead I find the solution and give it my all.

I have a great deal of respect for the two other candidates, but I am the only candidate who can truly deliver change as First Minister.

I commit to:

  • Independent auditing of the party’s membership numbers and finances to give confidence and assurance to members.
  • A more democratic party, which empowers its members to truly set the direction of travel and inform policies
  • Reform of our party, with a refreshed team to meet the challenges of opposition parties
  • Smaller, focused Government to meet the needs of our people and accelerate reform
  • A campaign movement for independence that is wider than the SNP to advance independence

The test of this leadership election is whether we can – collectively – face up to challenges with candour and honesty and recognise the imperatives for change.

A lot of SNP members haven’t voted yet. Many might be thinking it is easier to sit out this election, scunnered by the stories. But I urge you to take part and join the cause for change.

Together, we can rebuild a party run for its members and a Government run for the people we serve.

As we enter this last week, vote for change. The last few days make it crystal clear that more of the same won’t cut. 

Members know this needs to be fixed - and they know I can be trusted to do it.

Yours for Scotland.