SNP MSP criticises 'witch hunt' against Kate Forbes

Christine Grahame Kate Forbes
Christine Grahame and Kate Forbes Credit: Christine Grahame and Kate Forbes

An SNP MSP has criticised the "witch hunt" against Kate Forbes, who is running for the leadership of the party.

Christine Grahame told Representing Border Ms Forbes has a right to hold views "which she doesn't impose on anyone else".

She said she hadn't yet decided who she would vote for in the SNP leadership contest.

The MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale was speaking as a row raged over Ms Forbes's views, with the would-be first minister revealing she would have voted against the introduction of same-sex marriage and that having children outside of marriage "would be wrong according to my faith".

The comments from Ms Forbes, a Free Church of Scotland member who had previously been seen as a frontrunner to replace Nicola Sturgeon as both SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, have seen her lose a number of high-profile backers in the leadership race.

The Scottish Government Finance Secretary returned from maternity leave on Monday to declare her candidacy for the top job.

She has also said she would not have voted for her government's planned gender reforms, and when asked whether a trans woman is a woman, replied "a trans woman is a biological male".

Ms Forbes has defended her comments, and insists she is not pulling out of the SNP leadership contest.

Two other candidates have also declared - Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and former community safety minister Ash Regan.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 24 February.