SNP Westminster leader tells Margaret Ferrier to "do the right thing" and go

SNP MP Margaret Ferrier. Photograph: Parliament TV.

SNP MP Margaret Ferrier. Photograph: Parliament TV. - Credit: Archant

The SNP's Westminster leader has told one of his own MPs to stand down, urging her “to do the honourable thing” as calls for her resignation increase.

Ian Blackford has called for Margaret Ferrier to resign her seat after it emerged she travelled between Glasgow and London with coronavirus.

Ferrier said in a statement on Thursday there was “no excuse” for her actions, as she said she had travelled to the House of Commons while awaiting test results and returned home – both by train – after she had been told she was positive.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon is among those calling for her to stand down as an MP, describing her actions as “dangerous and indefensible”.

Blackford told the Daily Telegraph Ferrier should resign in a bid to save her “self respect and dignity”.

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“Margaret has to respect the fact there’s been a breach of trust between her and the electorate,” he said.

“She has to preserve her own self respect and dignity and do the honourable thing.

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“A failure to resign on her own terms means she will face a parliamentary standards inquiry.

“Nobody knows where that will go but she runs the risk of having her fate being taken out of her hands.”

The MP has not made any public statements about her future since the admission, with speculation increasing over her position.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie called for the use of the recall process to unseat Ferrier if she refused to stand aside.

Under the process, Ferrier would have to be suspended from the House of Commons for at least 10 sitting days, or at least 14 days if sitting days are not specified.

A by-election could then be forced if 10% of her constituents in Rutherglen and Hamilton West signed a recall a petition.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has called for Ferrier to be expelled from the SNP, which has already withdrawn the whip from the MP.

He said: “Having had the weekend to reflect on her action, Margaret Ferrier has shown she is more interested in keeping her Westminster salary and perks than she is in doing the right thing.

“The only step available to the SNP leadership now is to expel her from the party.”

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