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‘Indefensible’ Scottish Nationalist MP who flouted Covid 19 rules urged to step down

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Margaret Ferrier is facing calls to resign as an MP after travelling on a train from London to Glasgow after testing positive for Covid-19.

She has been suspended from the SNP, but the party cannot sack her as an MP.

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The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West said she had experienced “mild symptoms” on Saturday and was tested for coronavirus but decided to travel by train to Westminster on Monday before getting her result because she was “feeling much better”.

She spoke in the Commons chamber during a coronavirus debate – tweeting a video of her speech – but was told later that evening that she had tested positive for the virus.

Despite this, Ms Ferrier took a train back to Scotland on Tuesday, with SNP whips in the Commons being told about her positive test on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the party said:

“The SNP’s chief whip immediately informed parliament authorities.

“he SNP only became aware on Thursday that Ms Ferrier had been tested prior to travelling to London and had travelled back to Glasgow, knowing that she had a positive result”.

Ferrier’s actions became public when she tweeted an apology 6pm on Thursday, with the party announcing an hour later that it has suspended her.

Sturgeon subsequently tweeted that the MP’s actions had been “indefensible”.

Ferrier could face a £4,000 fine for a first-time offence of coming into contact with others when she should have been self-isolating under a law that came into force on the day of her positive test. She is currently under investigation by both The Metropolitan Police and Police Scotland.

Fellow SNP MPs Kirsty Blackman and Stephen Flynn have called for her to step down.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said:

“It undermines the whole messaging of the Scottish government, the UK government and it has put people at risk – travelling hundreds of miles with symptoms and then with a Covid test result.

At every turn there was an opportunity for Margaret Ferrier to minimise the risk to others and she ignored that.”

 

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