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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Emma Gordon

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    Kate Forbes

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Tuesday 18 February 2020, the day MSPs unanimously backed the appointment of Kate Forbes as Scotland's first female finance secretary.

    On a busy day in the Scottish Parliament, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson outlined a five point plan for additional weather forecasting and enhanced monitoring of the Queensferry Crossing.

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley called for an independent inquiry into the operation of the Mosmorran chemical plant in Fife which Natural Environment Minister Mairi Gougeon did not rule out.

    The plight of Borders village Newcastleton, which was left "cut off" by Storm Dennis, was also raised during topical questions.

    Join us tomorrow for the crucial local government funding evidence session from 9.30am - with the fate of any budget deal still in the balance.

  2. Swinney delighted with budget funding increase for Gaelic

    The education secretary stands to speak

    Education Secretary John Swinney calls Dr Allan a wordsmith, praising the member's debate.

    He admits to signing up to free Gaelic language lessons on the Duolingo app, along with 200,000 others.

    Mr Swinney also praises the council, for taking the 'brave' decision to provide Gaelic-medium education in its P1 classes.

    Support must be available for teachers, he adds, saying he was delighted with an increase in funding - announced in the budget - to support development of the Gaelic language.

  3. Background: Gaelic to be 'default' language for new pupils in Western Isles schools

    Classroom

    Children starting school in the Western Isles this summer will be taught in Gaelic, unless their parents opt-out.

    Until now parents had to opt in to Gaelic-medium education (GME) on the islands, where lessons in English was the default.

    But from August, all new P1 children will enrol in GME unless their parents request otherwise.

    The move was prompted because more than half of parents were expected to choose Gaelic-medium education.

    Read more

  4. 'Gaelic-medium education has not held back Kate Forbes'

    Alasdair Allan

    Alasdair Allan speaks to the chamber in Gaelic, saying Gaelic-medium education has not held back the progress of new Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.

    The SNP MSP is responding to some criticism of the move by certain newspapers.

    The policy does stop parents choosing English-medium education for their children, he says.

    People should be able to be taught in their mother tongue, he says, and Gaelic-only schools should open in the Highlands and Islands.

  5. MSPs agree the appointment of Kate Forbes as finance secretary

    Kate Forbes
    Image caption: Nicola Sturgeon hugs her new Finance Secretary Kate Forbes

    Following unanimous votes at Holyrood, the Queen has been invited to approve the appointment of Kate Forbes as finance secretary.

    Ms Forbes, having become a full cabinet secretary during her first term in parliament and still shy of her 30th birthday, is one of the SNP's fastest-rising stars.

    Ms Forbes becomes Scotland's first female finance secretary
    Image caption: Ms Forbes becomes Scotland's first female finance secretary

    MSPs also agreed to back the nomination of Jenny Gilruth as Europe and international development minister.

    The first minister also welcomes Jenny Gilruth to her new ministerial post
    Image caption: The first minister also welcomes Jenny Gilruth to her new ministerial post
  6. And now for the member's debate...

    Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan would like to welcome a decision by Western Isles Council to teach P1 children in Gaelic from this year, unless their parents opt out.

    If you want to want to watch this with English interpretation,go here

  7. BreakingMSPs agree appointment of Kate Forbes as finance secretary

    Kate Forbes
    Image caption: Kate Forbes

    MSPs unanimously back the appointment of Kate Forbes as Scotland's first female finance secretary.

    They also unanimously agree to the appointment of Jenny Gilruth as Europe and international development minister.

  8. Lib Dem praises new appointments

    Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton says it was apparent from the start that Kate Forbes was "destined for greatness".

    Mr Cole-Hamilton praises Ms Forbes's snake-charming abilities in the forthcoming budget negotiations.

    He praises Jenny Gilruth and says she is well suited to her new role.

    The Lib Dem MSP remembers when Jenny broke the internet - by revealing how she came out to her mother.

    Her mum thought at first she was dating Willie Rennie.

    "She could do a lot worse than Willie Rennie" says Mr Cole Hamilton, to laughter from the chamber.

  9. Greens back appointments too

    Patrick Harvie for the Greens also supports the appointments.

    The co-leader says Kate Forbes has a tough job ahead, to get consensus on the budget.

    He concludes that these appointments are 'bright, articulate people'.

  10. 'It's not strange for a woman to be cabinet secretary for finance'

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant welcomes Kate Forbes and Jenny Gilruth to their new posts.

    Ms Grant says Ms Forbes stepped up, in trying circumstances, to deliver the budget, but faced some sexist comments which she hopes will not continue.

    "It's not strange for a woman to be cabinet secretary for finance."

  11. Tories back appointments

    Liam Kerr

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr congratulates the first minister on her appointments.

    He first welcomes the appointment of Jenny Gilruth, saying he believes she will do a good job.

    The Tory MSP says there is no doubt Kate Forbes has stood out since her election but cites issues with the budget - from local government funding to cash for the police.

    He supports the appointments and says Ms Forbes has been a "breath of fresh air".

  12. Jenny Gilruth nominated as Europe and international development minister

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Ms Sturgeon says she is delighted to nominate Jenny Gilruth as Europe and international development minister.

    The first minister explains she will support Mike Russell in the enhanced engagement required with the EU.

  13. Sturgeon praises Kate Forbes

    The chamber

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says Kate Forbes has demonstrated a forensic grasp of detail as public finance minister and stepped in to deliver the budget so ably, at short notice and in circumstances we would not have chosen.

  14. New Appointments

    Here's the full list of new appointments:

    • Cabinet Secretary for Finance – Kate Forbes (who also retains her current responsibility for the Digital Economy)
    • Minister for Europe and International Development – Jenny Gilruth
    • Public Finance and Migration Minister – Ben Macpherson
    • Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture – Fiona Hyslop
    Ms Sturgeon said she was pleased to promote "two incredibly talented colleagues"
    Image caption: Ms Sturgeon said she was pleased to promote "two incredibly talented colleagues"

    And here are the new responsibilities for two cabinet secretaries:

    • Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs – Michael Russell
    • Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism – Fergus Ewing
  15. And we're off...

    MSPs are debating the appointments of Kate Forbes as Scotland's first female finance secretary and Jenny Gilruth as Europe and international development minister, before almost certainly agreeing to them.

  16. Background: Kate Forbes appointed new Scottish finance secretary

    The then public finance minister Kate Forbes unveiled the Scottish government's spending pledges for the next financial year
    Image caption: The then public finance minister Kate Forbes unveiled the Scottish government's spending pledges for the next financial year

    Kate Forbes has been appointed as the Scottish government's new finance secretary following the resignation of Derek Mackay.

    The 29-year-old became the first woman to set out a budget at Holyrood or Westminster when she stepped in for Mr Mackay earlier this month.

    In a reshuffle of Nicola Sturgeon's cabinet, Fiona Hyslop will now take on extra responsibility for the economy.

    Jenny Gilruth has joined the government as Europe minister.

  17. Background: Who is Kate Forbes?

    After 18 months as a junior minister, Ms Forbes has now replaced Derek Mackay as finance secretary
    Image caption: After 18 months as a junior minister, Ms Forbes has now replaced Derek Mackay as finance secretary

    Having become a full cabinet secretary during her first term in parliament and still shy of her 30th birthday, Ms Forbes is one of the SNP's fastest-rising stars.

    Born in Dingwall, she was raised in Glasgow and India - where her father worked to provide healthcare to those unable to afford it - before studying history at the University of Cambridge.

    She worked as an accountant in the banking industry and as an assistant to MSP Dave Thompson, before being nominated to succeed him as SNP candidate for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch in the 2016 Holyrood election.

    Ms Forbes held the seat with a comfortable 24.8% majority.

    As a backbencher, she campaigned to ban plastic straws and once gave a speech in the Holyrood chamber entirely in Gaelic.

    She entered government as minister for public finance and the digital economy in June 2018, working alongside Mr Mackay - and has now replaced him as both finance secretary and as the favourite with many bookmakers to eventually succeed Ms Sturgeon as first minister.

  18. Scotland's first female finance secretary: MSPs debate appointment of Kate Forbes

    Kate Forbes
    Image caption: Kate Forbes has already become the first woman to deliver a budget in the UK

    MSPs will shortly debate the appointments of Kate Forbes as Scotland's first female finance secretary and Jenny Gilruth as Europe and international development minister, before almost certainly agreeing to them.

  19. Third sector organisations must be seen as part of fabric of primary care

    Mr Cole-Hamilton says we are not making the progress we should be on introducing the community link workers.

    The Lib Dem MSP stresses the importance of awareness raising and insists third sector organisations must be seen as part of the fabric of our primary care.