MP Margaret Ferrier's trial date confirmed over Covid rule-breach charge

The ex-SNP MP allegedly travelled between Glasgow and London after having been told to self-isolate.

Ex-SNP MP Margaret Ferrier’s trial date confirmed over Covid rule-breach charge SNS Group

Former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier accused of travelling from Glasgow to London in the knowledge she had Covid symptoms has had her August trial confirmed.

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West representative allegedly made several journeys having been told to self-isolate between September 26 and 29, 2020.

Prosecutors state the suspended SNP politician culpably and recklessly booked a test for Covid-19, stating in the booking application that she had symptoms of the disease.

The charge claims she was told to self-isolate and wilfully exposed people to the risk of infection, illness and death.

It is alleged this was done by travelling throughout Glasgow and the surrounding areas as well as journeys to and from London.

At a pre-trial hearing Ferrier – who had her appearance excused – pled not guilty to the single charge at Glasgow Sheriff Court through her lawyer Neal McShane.

Mr McShane stated that the defence are intending to get a report from a virologist.

Mr McShane said: “We passed the paperwork but unfortunately his difficulty is, due to the outbreak of monkeypox he is required to work for a number of agencies in respect of that and as such we don’t have the report.

“This will need to be confirmed by Ms Ferrier if she is willing to fund that report as this is being funded on a private basis.”

Prosecutor Mark Allan told the court that he has been in dialogue with Ferrier’s counsel Brian McConnachie QC.

He said: “There is significant amount of evidence which can be agreed which will cut down the length of the trial.”

Sheriff Gerard Considine stated that a five-day trial estimate had been previously given.

Mr Allan replied that it would be “ambitious.”

He added: “The invitation is to keep the trial date in place and fix a pre-trial hearing for July 26.”

Mr McShane asked for Ferrier’s attendance to be excused “considering her role.”

Mr Allan replied: “There is no issue with that for the Crown.”

The charge states Ferrier was at a variety of locations over the three days.

These include locations in Rutherglen such as Lifestyle Leisure centre, Sweet P Boutique and Vanilla Salon.

Ferrier also allegedly visited Grace and Flavour, Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, as well as St Mungo’s Church, Glasgow and Vic’s Bar in Prestwick, Ayrshire.

The charge states Ferrier made a taxi journey from her home in Glasgow’s Cambuslang to the city’s Central train station.

It is claimed she travelled to London Euston station and elsewhere in the English capital including the Houses of Parliament.

Ferrier is then said to have made the return journey to Glasgow from London by train.

Ferrier’s bail was continued meantime.

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