Nicola Sturgeon repeats calls for Margaret Ferrier to resign as MP
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has put fresh pressure on disgraced MP Margaret Ferrier to step down as a member of Parliament.
Despite backlash over her journeys between Glasgow and Westminster with Covid-19 symptoms and then having tested positive for the virus, the former SNP MP has said she will not resign.
Ms Ferrier told the Scottish Sun that having the infection caused her to “act out of character” and she “panicked” before taking the 350-mile trip by train back to Scotland.
She told the paper: “This has been an awful experience but I’ll keep fighting for my constituents because that’s who I am.”
Appearing on Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News, Ms Sturgeon said the breach was “unacceptable” and Ms Ferrier should resign as an MP.
The Scottish First Minister said: “I couldn’t be clearer, she should step down from Parliament.
“The lapse of judgement in travelling hundreds of miles knowing she had tested positive for Covid-19 was so significant and so unacceptable that I don’t think there is any other acceptable course of action for her.
“I’ve read her comments in the media today but I still hope she will do the right thing.
“Every day, I have to stand and ask people across the country to do horrendously difficult things, to not visit their loved ones, and right now I’m asking people to understand why they can’t go to a pub or a restaurant.
“And it is unacceptable that somebody in her position flagrantly disregarded the rules like that and I cannot be clearer about that.
“It is not acceptable and she should resign.”
In her interview with the Scottish Sun, Ms Ferrier, 60, said she has received support locally after the incident and has “owned up and apologised profusely”.
She also spoke out about the level of criticism she has received over the incident, adding: “You feel you are getting a lot of criticism from people you thought were your colleagues or friends who’d understand it was an error of judgment. I’m not denying that.
“People may be saying, ‘You should have known better, you’re a public figure’. But at the end of the day it still hurts.
“You then think about all that hard work and dedication – is that just wiped away?”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard also repeated his call for Ferrier to resign on Sunday.
Commenting on the MP’s statement that she does not intend to stand down, Mr Leonard: “Margaret Ferrier’s comments show she has learned nothing. She is refusing to face up to her reckless, selfish and dangerous behaviour.
“Her intention to cling on until the next election is treating her constituents with contempt.
“Providing that she is suspended from the Commons for more than 10 sitting days, I have no doubt that a re-call petition would gather more than enough support to trigger a by-election.
"Margaret Ferrier should save them the trouble, re-think her arrogant stance, and resign.”
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