SNP MP suspended for train trips after positive Covid test
Margaret Ferrier speaking in the Commons on Monday night
An SNP MP was facing calls to resign after admitting she twice breached COVID-19 restrictions by travelling on a train to London with symptoms and then back to Scotland after testing positive.
Margaret Ferrier was suspended by her party for leaving her Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency south of Glasgow to attend the Commons in London on Monday.
She knew she was experiencing symptoms of the virus and was awaiting the results of a weekend test at the time she made the journey by train.
She travelled 400 miles back to her Lanarkshire seat by train -– without informing anyone of her condition before self-isolating at home.
Ms Ferrier apologised for her actions as her own leader, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, branded her actions “utterly indefensible”.
Ian Murray: ‘astonishing recklessness’ (pic: Terry Murden)
The MP, who won her back her seat from Labour in December, has referred herself to the police and the parliamentary standards authorities.
Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Commons leader, said he had removed the party whip from the MP.
Ms Sturgeon, tweeted: “This is utterly indefensible. It’s hard to express just how angry I feel on behalf of people across the country making hard sacrifices every day to help beat Covid. The rules apply to everyone and they’re in place to keep people safe.”
Police Scotland indicated that Ms Ferrier could face an investigation and a possible fine.
To make matters worse, Ms Ferrier criticised the Government in the summer for defending No10 adviser Dominic Cummings when he was accused of breaching lockdown.
In a statement, tonight she said speaking in parliament after suffering symptoms of the virus “was wrong, and I am very sorry for my mistake”. On travelling by train after testing positive, she said: “This was also wrong and I am sorry.”
Labour MP and Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said: “This is astonishing recklessness from an SNP MP, which has put people’s health at risk.
“Through her irresponsible actions, she very possibly has passed on the virus to a vulnerable person, who may now have COVID-19 and be in danger.
She has put passengers, rail staff, fellow MPs, Commons staff and many others at unacceptable risk.
“To breach the rules twice is simply unforgivable, and has undermined all the sacrifices made by her constituents.”
Scottish Conservative MSP Graham Simpson said: “Margaret Ferrier should listen to her own words, do the right thing and resign.
“If she’s shameless enough to try and stay on after acting so recklessly, Nicola Sturgeon must sack her. Margaret Ferrier would expect nothing less.”