Kate Forbes will return to the Scottish Government as John Swinney's Deputy First Minister. 

The ex-finance secretary will replace Shona Robison who has "chosen to step down" from the number two role to "help the process of taking forward our party and our government."

Ms Forbes had been promised a "significant" role by Mr Swinney last week.

She was seen as the only real possible challenger to him during an SNP leadership contest but ultimately endorsed the Perthshire North MSP clearing his path to Bute House.

READ MORE: John Swinney sworn in as Scotland's seventh First Minister

The Scottish Government said Ms Forbes will "support the First Minister in ensuring the Scottish Government is focused on supporting economic growth, investing in public services and eradicating child poverty." 

Her Cabinet role is due to be confirmed later today.

The First Minister said: “I am very pleased to appoint Kate as Deputy First Minister and look forward to working with her in this new government.

“She is an immensely talented politician, and her new role will prove critical as we focus on our key commitments of eradicating child poverty, investing in public services and supporting economic growth.”

Ms Forbes said: “I am deeply honoured to accept John’s invitation to be his Deputy First Minister.

“This is a moment of extraordinary privilege for me. Having previously served in Cabinet, I know the duty that all Ministers have to reflect the government’s priorities and the missions that drive them.

“I look forward to working with John and Cabinet colleagues, delivering for the people of Scotland and building a better country.” 

READ MORE: John Swinney housing crisis call amid homes law anger

In a letter to Ms Robison, the First Minister said he appreciated her "willingness to help the process of taking forward our party and our government by offering to step aside from the role of Deputy First Minister."

The Herald:

He added: "I thought hard about your offer because I recognise it as an act of selfless generosity. I agree with you that it will help me create the inclusive and unified team that is needed to take Scotland forward. "

The Scottish Greens expressed some disquiet over Ms Forbes's appointment. 

Taking to X, Co-leader Patrick Harvie tweeted a picture reading "no right turns."

In a statement, he said: “There will be many people across our country who will be very concerned and who will want to know that this Scottish Government remains committed to a greener and more equal future for Scotland.

“When it comes to delivering fairer and more progressive taxation, a just transition from oil and gas and a watertight ban on so-called conversion therapy, it is vital that this government does not dilute the longstanding commitments that it has made."