Scottish MP suspended for taking train after positive Covid test.

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

An MP has apologised for travelling to London to debate the coronavirus response in parliament after experiencing Covid-19 symptoms before testing positive and returning to Scotland.

The SNP suspended Margaret Ferrier after she acknowledged on Thursday that “there is no excuse for my actions” and said she had reported herself to police after revealing her journey while positive with the virus.

Party leader Nicola Sturgeon condemned the “utterly indefensible” behaviour amid calls for the MP to go.

Ms Ferrier said she took a test on Saturday afternoon after experiencing “mild symptoms”, meaning she should have self-isolated, before travelling by train to London on Monday.

“This was wrong, and I am very sorry for my mistake,” the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West said.

Ms Ferrier spoke in the coronavirus debate in the House of Commons on Monday and, by her account, tested positive for Covid-19 that evening.

“I travelled home by train on Tuesday morning without seeking advice. This was also wrong and I am sorry,” she said.

“I have been self-isolating at home ever since.”

The MP said she had informed the test and trace system and Commons authorities and had “notified the police of my actions”, with Police Scotland saying they were liaising with the Metropolitan Police.

“Despite feeling well, I should have self-isolated while waiting for my test result, and I deeply regret my actions,” Ms Ferrier said.

“I take full responsibility and I would urge everyone not to make the same mistakes that I have, and do all they can to help limit the spread of Covid-19.”

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, said he was suspending the whip from Ms Ferrier having spoken to the MP.

Ms Sturgeon welcomed the move and added: “It’s hard to express just how angry I feel on behalf of people across the country making hard sacrifices every day to help beat Covid. The rules apply to everyone and they’re in place to keep people safe.”

Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray said Ms Ferrier had put passengers, rail staff, MPs and Commons staff “at unacceptable risk”.

“To breach the rules twice is simply unforgivable, and has undermined all the sacrifices made by her constituents,” the Labour MP added.

Cummings criticism

Ms Ferrier previously called on the government to investigate Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, for potential breaches of the rules over his trip to Durham.

She criticised the prime minister for standing by his aid, and accused Mr Cummings of “undermining public trust in lockdown rules”.

On Monday, Ms Ferrier gave a four-minute speech in the Commons from 7.15pm and focused on the “economic health” of her constituents, calling for greater financial support.

Train drivers’ union Aslef said: “For an MP to get on a train knowing she has Covid-19 is both dangerous and disgraceful.”

Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader in Holyrood, said: “This Margaret Ferrier case is different – knowingly taking public transport after testing positive for Covid-19 is to put lives at risk.

“She has to go.”

The Glasgow-born politician(60)first entered parliament in 2015 taking the seat in South Lanarkshire from Labour. She lost in 2017 but won the constituency back in last year’s snap election.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We are aware of the circumstances and are liaising with our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service.”

The Commons confirmed she had informed parliamentary authorities of her diagnosis.

“We have closely followed public health guidance on the action to take following a confirmed case of Covid on site,” a spokesman said. – PA

Новини по темі

Covid-19 clouds election prospects of Romania's ruling Liberals.

Social Democrats tap anger over coronavirus response in bid to regain power

‘Making the final moment count’: Kamikaze pilot who lived tells his story 70 years on.

Kazuo Odachi(93)is one of the last living members of a group never meant to survive

Egypt frees three rights activists after widespread international condemnation.

Amnesty International says Egypt executed 57 men and women in October and November, compared with 32 during all of 2019

South Africa tightens local restrictions as coronavirus surges.

Clear evidence of a resurgence of Covid-19 across the Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces

Brexit: Result from talks ‘expected in hours or days’ but EU members could reject proposal.

Johnson still intends to reintroduce treaty-breaking clauses that were removed by House of Lords

Scientist and inventor(15)named Time magazine’s Kid of the Year.

Gitanjali Rao invented Chrome-extension that uses AI to detect cyberbullying

Covid-19: Italy reports highest daily death toll and tightens restrictions for Christmas.

World round-up: Moscow to begin vaccinating high-risk workers;US reports record death toll

Biden to ask Americans to wear face-masks for his first 100 days in office.

Move marks notable shift from Trump whose scepticism of masks contributed to politicisation of issue

1 374

US reports record Covid-related death toll

Daily Covid cases hit 200,000 with 2,885 deaths reported on Wednesday

Warning that significant gaps remain in talks between Brexit negotiators.

Johnson still intends on Monday to restore to Internal Market Bill the treaty-breaking clauses that were removed by House of Lords