Margaret Ferrier MP under investigation by parliamentary watchdog

The probe will determine whether her actions caused ‘significant damage’ to the reputation of the House of Commons or MPs.

18 October 2022

A Scottish MP who breached coronavirus rules by travelling on public transport at the height of the pandemic knowing she had Covid-19 is being probed by the parliamentary watchdog.

Margaret Ferrier pleaded guilty this year to putting people at “risk of infection, illness and death” by going on a train between Scotland and London in September 2020 after taking a test for the virus.

While awaiting the results, the 62-year-old also spoke in the Houses of Parliament, visited elsewhere in London and read to a congregation of about 45 people at a mass in St Mungo’s Church, Glasgow.

The MP’s actions will now be investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner to determine whether or not she caused “significant damage” to the reputation of the House of Commons or MPs.

The probe, which opened on October 12, will also look at Ms Ferrier’s actions in creating possible conflict between private interests and the public interest.

In September, Ms Ferrier, the member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West was sentenced to 270 hours of community service following a trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Ms Ferrier was told the sentence was a direct alternative to custody and that she will need to carry out the unpaid work within nine months.

She had been elected as the SNP MP for the seat in 2019, winning the seat from Labour.

She had the party whip removed in 2020 after the allegations against her emerged and has since sat as an independent.

She has come under pressure to resign her seat in the House of Commons.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on her to “do the right thing” and resign, describing Ferrier’s actions as “dangerous and indefensible”.

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