Margaret Ferrier: Shamed MP who broke Covid rules on train journey facing suspension | The Sun

SHAMED nationalist MP Margaret Ferrier is set to face a by-election for her infamous Covid law breach, it emerged today.

In late September 2020, she travelled between Glasgow and London via train after developing coronavirus symptoms and taking a test.

Whilst in London she discovered she was positive for Covid-19 and decided to make the journey back to Scotland despite knowing she was infectious.

Awaiting her results, she went to church and gave a reading to the congregation, and later spent more than two hours in a bar.

Ms Ferrier pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to culpably and recklessly exposing the public to the virus.

She was ordered to carry out 270 hours of community service.

Ms Ferrier clung on to her seat as the sentence did not pass the threshold for parliament "Recall" rules.

But the Commons Standards Committee has now recommended she is suspended from the Commons for 30 days.

And if rubber-stamped by MPs, this would be enough to trigger a byelection under Recall law.

Ms Ferrier was ditched from the SNP parliamentary party after the now-notorious September 2020 incident emerged – and now sits as an independent.

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We told at the time of her conviction how the Commons probe could still lead to Ferrier losing her seat – a top target for Labour.

A Recall petition would trigger a byelection if ten per cent of registered voters sign up.

The Standards Committee concluded that Margaret Ferrier had breached two parts of the code of conduct, relating to putting the public interest above personal interest and on damaging the reputation of the House.

Ms Ferrier admitted that her actions had breached the rules on the reputation of the House, but denied the other breach, telling the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards: "Whilst I made an error in judgment, I do not believe that I placed my personal interest above the public interest during the period in question.

"However, I did make a series of poor decisions that flowed from my original error which compounded the situation."

She said "there was not a moment where I was consciously aware of a conflict between personal and public interest and made a decision to prioritise my own".

But the committee found she was in breach of both parts of the code: "By choosing to return home rather than self-isolate in London, as required by national guidance and the House's guidance, Ms Ferrier acted selfishly in her personal interest and in defiance of the public interest."

The Standards Committee said: "Ms Ferrier's actions knowingly and recklessly exposed members of the public and those on the parliamentary estate to the risk of contracting Covid-19 and demonstrated a disregard for the parliamentary and national guidance in place."

She "acted dishonestly" by misleading the SNP's chief whip, she was subsequently stripped of the whip over her behaviour, and her actions "caused significant damage to the reputation of the House".

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Explaining the recommended sanction, the committee's report said: "If Ms Ferrier had been a public sector employee in a position of trust or leadership, she could have faced severe disciplinary consequences, potentially including dismissal, for these or similar actions."

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