KATE Forbes has said she would not have voted in favour of the Scottish Government's gender reform bill in its current form, in her first interview since entering the SNP leadership race.

The Finance Secretary, who is returning early from maternity leave to enter the contest, spoke to BBC Scotland following her announcement on Monday morning.

She told the BBC that she had "significant concerns" about self-identification for transgender people in Scotland and hinted that she is unlikely to launch a legal challenge against the UK Government for using a Section 35 order if she wins the leadership race. 

READ MORE: LIVE: Kate Forbes launches SNP leadership campaign

It comes as competitor Humza Yousaf said it would be "sad" if the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill dominated the SNP leadership race as he launched his own campaign in Clydebank. 

Forbes, who was on maternity leave when the bill passed in December, said people she has spoken to want to focus on the cost of living crisis, the NHS and making the case for independence

The UK Government blocked the legislation from becoming law by using a Section 35 order to stop it from being given Royal Assent. 

The move caused uproar amongst Scottish independence supporters, who said it was an attack on Scottish democracy.

The National: Forbes was photographed arriving at BBC Scotland's studios on Monday afternoonForbes was photographed arriving at BBC Scotland's studios on Monday afternoon (Image: PA)

Forbes said she would be "loath to challenge" the Tories' decision.

Speaking to the BBC, Forbes said: "I have been on record saying I had significant concerns and therefore bill in its current form I would have struggled to vote for.

"I would not have been able to vote for the principle of self-ID."

Forbes added: "I understand the principle here which is that the UK Government should not overturn Scottish legislation.

"That is an important principle which I hold to.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf not 'wedded' to de facto Scottish independence referendum plan

"But I think on this, seek legal advice and recognise it is not a priority right now for the people of Scotland, who are focused on other things.”

Forbes was also asked if she would have resigned over the gender reform legislation by BBC Scotland editor James Cook. 

She said: "That would have been a question of collective responsibility and that would have been a decision that I would have had to take in discussion with colleagues. Obviously, I wasn't there."

Cook asked: "That was handy, wasn't it?"

Forbes replied: "Well, I didn't predict the date at which my daughter would be born and neither did I set the government's timetable so it is certainly nothing that I had control over.

"But I have concerns about self-ID and those concerns remain."

Forbes added that she would have a "grown-up conversation" with the UK Government over what changes they would want to be made to the bill to allow it to become law.

She added: "We would need to ensure that the bill is in their view compatible. This is a bill that's really important.

"You know, I have never been against the reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and so I think we do need to reform it and make it less onerous.

"But in so doing, we need to look at the amendments that would make it compatible, and ensure again that we're not making decisions without listening to all the different voices that are affected."

Forbes was then asked if she believed anyone "born biologically male" should be allowed to self-identify as a woman. 

"I don't think self-identification is sufficient," she said.