POLITICS
02/10/2020 08:36 BST | Updated 02/10/2020 10:50 BST

Nicola Sturgeon Calls For MP Margaret Ferrier To Resign Over 'Indefensible' Covid Breach

The SNP leader says she hopes Ferrier "will do the right thing" after taking a train from Glasgow to London and back with coronavirus.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arriving for First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

Nicola Sturgeon has joined calls for Margaret Ferrier to resign after the MP took a train from Glasgow to London and back despite having coronavirus. 

The SNP leader and first minister of Scotland described the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West’s actions as “dangerous and indefensible”. 

Ferrier is no longer an SNP MP having lost the whip but continues to represent the area as an independent. 

Sturgeon tweeted on Friday: “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 and colleague – but her actions were dangerous and indefensible.

“I have no power to force an MP to resign but I hope she will do the right thing.”

It follows SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford saying Ferrier had “let the country down”. 

Blackford told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland Ferrier may have broken the law and has made a “tremendous error of judgement” and added: “I would say to her that her position is no longer tenable.”

Blackford told BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme that Ferrier may have broken the law, and said: “This is a very serious situation.

“That we have been living with this Covid for a number of months. Now, people are making enormous sacrifices.

“And MPs have to be judged to the highest standards.

“And, we have a situation here that not only has the guidance been broken, but the law has been broken.

“And, I would simply say to Margaret that people will expect her to reflect on the situation that she has put herself in.”

He also admitted he first learned of her positive test on Thursday morning, though Ferrier was not suspended until later in the day. 

He added: “This is a desperately serious situation that’s taken place.

“At the end of the day, we should be judged by the actions that we take.

“And it’s clear that Margaret travelled to London having had a (Covid) test, and having then been informed that she had tested positive, did the journey in reverse.

“That is not only wrong, it is a breach of the law.”

Glasgow East MP David Linden on Thursday night used an appearance on BBC Question Time to say he thought Ferrier should resign. 

Jane Barlow - PA Images via Getty Images
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon (right) with Margaret Ferrier, SNP candidate for Rutherglen, during the election campaign

On Friday morning, Kirsty Blackman MP added: “I agree with David Linden. Margaret Ferrier must resign. Both David and Margaret are unparalleled campaigners for our party but in this circumstance David is right. Margaret’s actions cannot be overlooked.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross and MSP Ruth Davidson have both called for Ferrier to stand down as an MP. 

Speaking to Times Radio, Ross said Ferrier had been “reckless and dangerous”, adding: “We expect politicians to lead by example and follow the guidance we are setting – we are law-makers.

“Margaret Ferrier was part of the process to enable these laws to be enacted across the country and her actions are reckless, they are dangerous, they are undermining everything we are doing as a country to try and get on top of this virus.”

He criticised the SNP, saying: “There’s an awful lot of questions to be answered here as to when the SNP found out.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has called Ferrier “reckless” and has also called for her resignation.