KATE Forbes did not record her church membership as a potential conflict of interest on a high-level government register despite other ministers recording theirs.

The Finance Secretary also omitted limited companies run by her father and husband while colleagues included similar information about their close family.

The information comes from an unpublished register of ministerial interests compiled by the Scottish Government’s most senior official.

The Herald obtained it, as well as a list of recent updates, using freedom of information law.

Nicola Sturgeon recorded her husband, SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, owns a half share of a house in Portugal, and Scottish Green minister Patrick Harvie declared he had been convicted of a breach of the peace while on a “nonviolence direct action protest”.

Under the Scottish Ministerial Code, new ministers must declare "all interests which might be thought to give rise to a conflict in relation to their Ministerial office”.

The list “should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict”.

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Ms Forbes, who is running to become the next SNP leader and first minister, is a member of the socially conservative Free Church of Scotland.

Her opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion and having children outside wedlock have all caused controversy during the campaign.

She did not declare it as a potential conflict, although two other ministers did name their church, including one who is in the Free Church.

The declaration covers “charities”, and the Free Church nationally, as well as its individual churches, are legally charities.

Under the charities section, Deputy First Minister John Swinney declared: “I am a member of the National Trust for Scotland and the Church of Scotland.

"I participate in the life of the Church of Scotland and financially contribute to SCIAF, Christian Aid and Mary’s Meals.”

Solicitor General Ruth Charteris, who as a law officer is also a minister, declared that she was a member of Dowanvale Free Church in Glasgow, and the Lawyers Christian Fellowship. 

However Ms Forbes’s Charities entry states “na”, for not applicable, despite the Free Church in Dingwall where she married in 2021 and the Free Church nearest her matrimonial home both being charities. 

One of Ms Forbes’s junior ministers, Tom Arthur, even recorded his membership of the RSPB in the charities section.

Under interests of a “spouse, partner or close family member”, Ms Forbes only said her father was a “cost auditor with Scottish Water”.

However Dr David Forbes is also a director and controlling hand of Forbes & Forbes Ltd, in which he and Ms Forbes’s mother Naomi have 25 per cent stakes.

The firm’s website offers “business and construction cost management” to a range of potential clients.

Ms Forbes’s husband Ali owns a small firm, Daniel MacLennan Ltd.

Other ministers logged partners’ jobs, property and farming interests.

It is ultimately for ministers to decide what they declare.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC recorded her marriage to the judge Lord Turnbull. 

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, Ms Forbes’s main rival for the SNP leadership, put “n/a” under charities, however his spokesman said he was not a member of any particular mosque, but prayed wherever he was able to do so. 

Under family interests, Mr Yousaf recorded: “My sister is a practising pharmacist. A part of my extended family I have 3 cousins who are dentisists in Scotland, two of which are practice owners.”

The existence of ministerial registers was highlighted by the recent downfall of UK Tory party chairman and former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, who failed to record he was under investigation by HMRC in the UK version.

No Scottish minister recorded any problem with their tax affairs.

A spokesman for Ms Forbes's SNP leadership campaign said: "I understand that Kate's entry on the ministerial register was guided by the cabinet secretariat, and none of the items mentioned were included as they were not thought to create a conflict of interest."