By-election nearer

Ferrier loses appeal against Commons suspension

Margaret Ferrier
Margaret Ferrier speaking in the Commons

MP Margaret Ferrier has lost her appeal against a proposed 30-day suspension from the House of Commons after she breached Covid lockdown rules.

The suspension is expected to lead to a by-election in her Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency.

The MP was sentenced to 270 hours community service last year at Glasgow Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to a charge of culpable and reckless conduct.

Ms Ferrier’s penalty followed her decision in September 2020 to attend the Commons while awaiting the results of a Covid test. She then took a train home to Glasgow after learning she had tested positive.

The SNP whip was withdrawn following her actions and she now sits as an independent. The Commons’ standards committee recommended in March that Ms Ferrier should be suspended.

The independent expert panel has upheld the original judgement and the proposed ban is now expected to be endorsed by MPs, although no date has yet been set for this to take place.

Under commons rules if an MP is excluded for 10 days or more a so-called ”recall petition” can take place.

If 10% of the electorate in the constituency call for a by-election, one will take place.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “With this news, the by-election that the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West need has moved one step closer.

“It is simply disgraceful that this community has been left without proper representation due to the actions of Margaret Ferrier.”

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