MP who risked lives in Covid breach investigated by watchdog

Margaret Ferrier admitted to culpably and recklessly exposing the public to the risk of infection, illness and death.

Margaret Ferrier MP who risked lives in Covid rules breach investigated by Parliament watchdog STV News

A former SNP politician who endangered others by travelling between London and Scotland while Covid positive is being investigated by the Parliamentary watchdog.

Margaret Ferrier, the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, is facing an inquiry into whether her actions caused significant damage to the reputation of the House of Commons as a whole, or members of Parliament generally.

In August, Ferrier admitted she had culpably and recklessly exposed the public to the risk of infection, illness and death.

Last month, she was handed a 270-hour community payback order at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The MP, who was suspended by the SNP, had said she experienced “mild symptoms” of the virus on Saturday, September 26, 2020, and took a test.

She went on to attend a number of events in her constituency in South Lanarkshire on Sunday, September 27.

It included giving a reading to a congregation of 45 people at St Mungo’s Parish Church.

Despite the rules at the time in Scotland stating that those with symptoms would have to self-isolate for at least ten days and book a test, Ferrier travelled to London by train on Monday, September 28.

She went on to make a speech in the House of Commons that evening while awaiting the test result, which shortly afterwards was confirmed as positive.

The next morning, on Tuesday, September 29, Ferrier boarded a train from London to Glasgow without seeking advice and began self-isolating when she got home.

Contact tracers for NHS Test and Protect attempted to contact Ferrier on four occasions, but were unable to do so, leaving two voicemails.

On Wednesday, September 30, Ferrier informed the SNP that she had tested positive, with Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle being informed that day around 4pm.

The SNP insisted that it did not know at this stage that Ferrier had taken a test before travelling to London.

Ferrier reported herself to Police Scotland on Thursday, October 1, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon learning of her actions later that afternoon at around 1.25pm.

The MP faced renewed calls to resign following her guilty plea.

Despite having the whip removed by the SNP, Ferrier remains as the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

Parliament’s commissioner looks at evidence that individual MPs may have broken the Rules of Conduct.

It can order those found to have broken the code to apologise.

Ferrier’s office has been contacted for comment.

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