Shamed MP Margaret Ferrier handed Commons suspension over Covid rule breaking


SHAMED MP Margaret Ferrier has been handed a 30-day suspension for breaching Covid lockdown rules – paving the way for a potential by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

The ban for the former Nats politician was confirmed following a vote in the Commons on Tuesday.

Margaret Ferrier has been the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West since 2019.

Sir Keir Starmer during a visit to Rutherglen.

Any MP who misses 10 sitting days due to suspension is at risk of a by-election – but 10% of voters in their constituency must sign a recall petition.

The Commons voted by a margin of 185 to 40 to suspend Ferrier.

Humza Yousaf could now face the first major electoral test for the SNP since he became leader in March.

Labour is hoping to win the seat, with Keir Starmer visiting the constituency last month and the party’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds also speaking to a local business there on Tuesday.

Ferrier was sentenced to 270 hours of community service in September last year, but has clung on to her £84,144-a-year job as the sentence did not pass the threshold for parliament “Recall” rules. 

Last month, Ferrier lost in her appeal against her suspension from parliament. 

In 2019, the SNP won back Rutherglen and Hamilton West with 44.1 per cent share of the vote – and a 5,230 majority over Labour on 34.4 per cent.

Michael Shanks, Labour’s candidate for the seat, said: “It’s right that after years of anger and frustration with our current MP those of us who live in Rutherglen and Hamilton West now have the power to decide who represents us. I hope the recall process can begin soon.”

The suspension was also welcomed by the SNP, with David Linden insisting that “there must now be a by-election”.

He added: “People in Rutherglen and Hamilton West are paying an unacceptable price for the damaging policies of the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party as the cost of living soars. The SNP is the only party offering a real alternative.”

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