MP Margaret Ferrier’s trip to Covid Parliament is “indefensible”


Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP spoke during a debate in the House of Commons before returning ill to Scotland

The Scottish Prime Minister has said the actions of an SNP MP who traveled to Westminster despite symptoms of Covid are “completely untenable”.

Margaret Ferrier said she made the trip because she was feeling “much better” – but also returned home after having tested positive.

The MP, who was suspended by her party, said there was “no excuse for my actions”.

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted his support for the decision to suspend the Member.

She said: “It is totally indefensible. It’s hard to express how angry I feel on behalf of people across the country who make hard sacrifices every day to help beat Covid.

“The rules apply to everyone and they are in place to keep people safe. @Ianblackford_MP is right to suspend the whip. ”

One of Ms Ferrier’s former SNP colleagues, Glasgow East MP David Linden, also said she “should step down” as an MP.

He was speaking during the recording of tonight’s BBC Question Time program.

  • What is self-isolation and who should do it?

Ms Ferrier said she had been tested on Saturday after experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ but traveled to London on Monday when she was feeling better.

The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West spoke during the coronavirus debate in the House of Commons on Monday and said she received her positive test result that evening.

She then took a train back to Scotland on Tuesday.

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Media legendMargaret Ferrier speaks in Commons while awaiting test result

Ms Ferrier said she informed the police and deeply regretted her actions.

“I got home by train Tuesday morning without asking for advice. It was also a mistake and I’m sorry, ”she said.

“I’ve been self-isolating at home ever since. ”

Police Scotland confirmed to have been contacted by Ms. Ferrier, claiming officers were “reviewing the circumstances” and liaising with the Metropolitan Police Department.

SNP chief in Westminster Ian Blackford said he spoke to Ms Ferrier, who admitted what she had done was wrong.

He said: “Margaret will refer herself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards as well as to the police. I am suspending Margaret’s whip this evening. “

When a person tests positive for coronavirus, they normally arouse sympathy and concern.

But that’s extremely rare for Margaret Ferrier after admitting to breaking Covid’s self-isolation rules.

She may have apologized for attending Parliament and making long journeys on public transport with coronavirus, but she did not provide an explanation.

Her behavior is far more serious than the trip lock violation that cost Catherine Calderwood her post as Chief Medical Officer of Scotland.

It is also more serious than the trips to the lockout of Prime Minister’s adviser Dominic Cummings, whom Ferrier has called to resign.

It is therefore not surprising that the Conservatives are calling for the member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West to withdraw from Parliament.

She has already been suspended by the SNP and party leader Nicola Sturgeon called her behavior “totally indefensible”.

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle wrote to MPs on Thursday evening to say he was briefed after Ms Ferrier told the SNP whip on Wednesday afternoon that she had tested positive for Covid- 19.

“The House authorities immediately took all necessary measures in accordance with their legal obligations and the PHE [Public Health England] Advice, ”he wrote.

“Based on the information provided to the contact tracing system, only one person was identified as a close contact in this case and is now self-isolating. ”

A spokesperson for the House of Commons said the House’s priority was to ensure the safety of those working on the estate.

The statement added: “We have closely followed public health guidelines on what to do next to a confirmed case of Covid on site.

‘Parliament has a dedicated team to support testing and traceability teams across the UK, acting as a central point of contact in the event of suspected or confirmed cases, when an individual has worked on the field .

‘Dangerous and shameful’

Labor MP Ian Murray said Ms Ferrier had shown “astonishing recklessness”.

“She has exposed unacceptable risks to passengers, railway staff, fellow MPs, Commons staff and many others,” he said.

“It is simply unforgivable to break the rules twice and have undermined all the sacrifices made by your constituents. ”

The train conductors union Aslef described his actions as “both dangerous and shameful”.

Scottish Conservative Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson has said knowingly taking public transport after testing positive for Covid-19 puts lives at risk.

Ms Ferrier was one of the MPs who called on Prime Minister’s adviser Dominic Cummings to step down amid controversy surrounding his visit to the north-east of England during the lockdown.

At the time, she said her actions had “undermined the sacrifices we have all made” and called her position “untenable.”


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