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Covid-positive MP Margaret Ferrier suspended over Parliament visit

Image caption The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West spoke in a debate in the House of Commons before returning unwell back to Scotland An SNP MP has been suspended by her party after travelling to Westminster despite experiencing Covid symptoms – then going home by train after getting a positive test result.Margaret Ferrier said…

Margaret Ferrier

Image caption

The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West spoke in a debate in the House of Commons before returning unwell back to Scotland

An SNP MP has been suspended by her party after travelling to Westminster despite experiencing Covid symptoms – then going home by train after getting a positive test result.

Margaret Ferrier said there was “no excuse for my actions”.

She said she took a test on Saturday – but travelled to London on Monday because she was feeling “much better”.

Ms Ferrier received a positive test result that same day, then took a train back to Scotland on Tuesday.

The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West said she had informed the police and that she deeply regretted her actions.

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said on Thursday that he had spoken to Ms Ferrier, who accepted that what she had done was wrong.

He said: “Margaret will be referring herself to the parliamentary standards commissioner as well as the police. I am tonight suspending the whip from Margaret.”

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Media captionMargaret Ferrier speaks in Commons while awaiting test result

Ms Ferrier said she took the weekend test after experiencing “mild symptoms”, but travelled to London by train at the start of the working week.

She spoke in the coronavirus debate in the House of Commons on Monday, and said she received her positive test result 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.”

‘Dangerous and disgraceful’

Labour MP Ian Murray said Ms Ferrier had shown “astonishing recklessness”.

“She has put passengers, rail staff, fellow MPs, Commons staff and many others at unacceptable risk,” he said.

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

Train drivers union Aslef described her actions as “both dangerous and disgraceful”.

The Scottish Conservatives’ Holyrood leader, Ruth Davidson, said knowingly taking public transport after testing positive for Covid-19 put lives at risk.

Ms Ferrier was one of the MPs who called on the prime minister’s advisor Dominic Cummings to resign in the wake of the controversy over his visit to the north east of England during lockdown.

At the time, she said his actions had “undermined the sacrifices that we have all been making” and described his position as “untenable”.

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus.