It’s not just the hospitality sector struggling to recruit this summer. Steerpike has been amused to see a number of job postings appear on the ‘Working for an MP’ website in recent months for the exciting opportunity to work for the member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Margaret Ferrier.
Ferrier of course has been suspended from the SNP since October after she admitted travelling down to London, having developed Covid symptoms. Not only did the MP fail to stay at home to prevent potentially spending the disease, she also decided to speak in Parliament, and then decided to travel back to Scotland on the train after receiving a positive Covid test.
The subsequent scorn and opprobrium directed at Ferrier have failed to induce the whipless MP to resign, despite a court appearance after she was charged with culpable and reckless conduct. Police Scotland told Mr S today that – more than seven months on – they had nothing to add to their last statement of 4 January in which they confirmed a report would be sent to the procurator fiscal.
Unsurprisingly, it appears that few hardy souls are now willing to work for the Scottish nationalist for fear of being of being tainted by association. At present there are no listings that appear under Ferrier’s name in the parliamentary register of interests of members’ secretaries and research assistants with four adverts in nine weeks being posted online for positions in Ferrier’s office this summer.
One application window for a parliamentary assistant closed on 25 June and then seems to have been re-opened just three days later – presumably due to a lack of applicants. Another for a ‘chief of staff’ closed on August 6 but was reposted on August 9. An outside company – Hive – is running the application process for Ferrier, at potential further cost to her taxpayers via IPSA.
Mr S was nevertheless intrigued to learn what qualities Ferrier is looking for in her staff.