MP who broke COVID rules sentenced to 270 hours of community service

Politics

An MP who travelled between London and Scotland in 2020 in breach of COVID rules has been told by a court to undertake a 270-hour community payback order.

Last month, in a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Scottish MP Margaret Ferrier admitted that she culpably and recklessly exposed the public to risk of COVID-19 infection.

Former SNP MP Ms Ferrier, who now sits as an independent after having the whip removed, pleaded guilty to breaching COVID rules despite knowing she ought to self-isolate early on in the pandemic.

The 62-year-old admitted she broke the rules by travelling on a train between Scotland and London after failing to self-isolate in September 2020 and wilfully exposing people “to the risk of infection, illness and death” by visiting various places in the Glasgow area and London.

Ms Ferrier had the SNP whip removed in 2020 after the allegations emerged and has come under pressure to resign from her seat, but remains an MP.

She took a coronavirus test on Saturday 26 September 2020 because she had a sore throat.

While still awaiting the result, on the Monday she travelled to London by train and spoke in the Commons.

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A short time later, Ms Ferrier discovered that she had tested positive for the virus.

She decided to board a train back to Glasgow the following day, knowingly having COVID-19.

Ms Ferrier previously referred herself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the police over the matter and said she “deeply regrets” her actions.

When Ms Ferrier’s actions first came to light, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for her to resign, describing her actions as “dangerous and indefensible”.

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