Christian MSP Kate Forbes quits government after being demoted by Humza Yousaf

(Photo: Scottish Parliament)

Christian MSP Kate Forbes is to leave the Scottish government after narrowly losing out on becoming Scotland's next first minister to Humza Yousaf. 

She has been finance secretary for the past three years and won 48 per cent of the votes to be the SNP's next leader following the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon.

It is reported that she is quitting after being demoted by Yousaf following his victory in the SNP leadership race this week.

She reportedly declined the offer of a more junior role as rural affairs secretary. 

Forbes came under fire early on in her leadership bid because of her membership in the Free Church of Scotland, which takes a traditionalist view of marriage and sexuality.

Forbes has previously said that she would have voted against same-sex marriage if she had been around when the legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament. 

She has also spoken about her opposition to abortion clinic buffer zones that will criminalise prayer and offers of help to women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. 

Commenting on her defeat, David Robertson, evangelist and a former moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, said, "We have to face up to the fact that Kate Forbes was not elected because she is a Bible-believing Christian.

"She was by far the most competent, attractive and viable leader and she almost made it.

"But it was her Christianity that she was demonised for."