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Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

MP Margaret Ferrier given community sentence for travelling with Covid

MP Margaret Ferrier given community sentence for travelling with Covid

Politician admitted taking a train from London to Scotland, knowing she had coronavirus
An MP who admitted she had “culpably and recklessly” put people at risk after travelling by train from London to Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19 has been ordered to undertake a 270-hour community payback order.

Margaret Ferrier, the former Scottish National party politician, who now sits as an independent MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, admitted at a hearing at Glasgow sheriff court last month that she had exposed the public “to the risk of infection, illness and death”.

Despite repeated calls for her to do so and to the frustration of many of her constituents, she has refused to stand down, but may now face further investigation by Commons authorities now the police investigation has concluded.

After the rule-breaking came to light in October 2020 she immediately referred herself to the police and to the parliamentary commissioner for standards and apologised unreservedly for her conduct

It emerged that she had visited venues in her constituency, including a beauty salon and a gift shop, while awaiting her test results, before travelling to London and speaking in the Commons on 28 September.

After receiving a positive result she decided to get a train back to Glasgow the next day because she was worried about having to self-isolate in a hotel room in London for two weeks.

Prosecutor Mark Allan told the court: “The conduct amounted to a reckless disregard of public safety.”

The first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at the time described her actions as “dangerous and indefensible”.

If she is sanctioned by the House of Commons authorities, that could trigger a recall petition.

She remains suspended by the SNP.

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