Kate Forbes was a relatively little known figure outside of Scotland until last week, when she announced she would run to succeed the resigning Nicola Sturgeon as head of the Scottish National Party, and therefore also become the First Minister of Scotland. But just seven days later and she, and her strong Christian beliefs, have been splashed all over the news up and down the UK.
A member of the conservative Free Church of Scotland, Forbes has made no secret of the fact that her faith is not only central to who she is but also informs her values and her politics deeply. And it is this which is causing enormous problems for her nascent campaign to become SNP leader and Scotland’s most senior politician.
She’s been grilled over her views on gay marriage, having children outside of wedlock, gender reassignment and much else. Some, including senior SNP figures, have decried her social conservatism or insisted it is unacceptable in a secular democracy for someone with strong Christian convictions to run for high office. Others have accused the media of running a hateful campaign against someone from a religious minority and stifling freedom of belief. It’s all getting pretty ugly, and we’re only one week into her campaign. Today’s Newscast is going to try and understand a bit more who Forbes is, and whether her evangelical beliefs have torpedoed her campaign already.