Scotland’s finance secretary Kate Forbes has spoken about her Christian faith to the BBC.
Forbes, 31, who is a member of the Free Church of Scotland, was speaking to the BBC’s Nick Robinson for the Political Thinking podcast. ‘To be straight, I believe in the person of Jesus Christ,’ she said.
‘I believe that he died for me, he saved me, and that my calling is to serve and to love him and to serve and love my neighbours with all my heart and soul and mind and strength.
‘So that, for me, is essential to my being. Politics will pass – I am a person before I was a politician, and that person will continue to believe that I am made in the image of God.’
Forbes, who has been the MSP for the Skye, Lochaber, and Badenoch constituency since 2016, admitted that she is ‘as guilty as anybody of tiptoeing around’ her Christian faith.
Although she has never hidden her faith, she says there is a ‘fear and a sense that the public will think we only speak for our own rather than speak for everybody’.
Politicians should be able, she said, to represent everyone, regardless of whether they have ‘walked in their shoes or completely understand where they are coming from’.
She added, ‘Some of them will agree with my politics, others will disagree. Some will agree with my faith, others will disagree.
‘I have a duty to represent them, but neither do I want to deceive my constituents, and I think being straight with them about my faith, about who I am, about my background, is really important.’
She believes that people have ‘lost the ability to debate issues’ without hating those who have opposing views. She herself has been abused and attacked on social media.
She said, ‘I look at my Twitter timeline, and the levels of vitriol, abuse, and creative insults are such that I cannot read it.’
Born in Scotland, Forbes spent some of her childhood in India after her parents travelled there as missionaries.
She read history at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and has been tipped to be a future First Minister of Scotland.