Things have gone from bad to pretty much as grim as things can get for an MP — isolating back in Scotland, Margaret Ferrier has been told to resign from parliament by her (now former) party leader Nicola Sturgeon.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) October 2, 2020
I’ve spoken to Margaret Ferrier and made clear my view that she should step down as an MP. I did so with a heavy heart - she is a friend & colleague - but her actions were dangerous & indefensible. I have no power to force an MP to resign but I hope she will do the right thing.
The interjection comes following a torrid night for the Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP. Yesterday evening she released a statement in which she admitted travelling down to London by train while suffering from Covid symptoms — where she then spoke in the Commons — before receiving a positive result for a test she took before she went to London. It goes without saying that that decision is already in breach of Covid laws. But, extraordinarily, she then decided to hop on another train back up to Scotland knowing that she was infectious.
There are now also questions over when SNP authorities were told about her string Covid failures. In a statement last night, the SNP whips said they only found out about her positive test result on Thursday — and yet the Speaker's office said the SNP was informed on Wednesday. This matters because MPs tend to travel back to their constituencies on a Thursday. If the SNP did know and failed to inform other parliamentarians, that may well have led to infections spreading across the country.
More than just calling for Ferrier's resignation, Sturgeon needs to explain what the SNP knew — and when...