London, Oct 2 (PTI) There is growing pressure on a Scottish member of the UK Parliament to resign after she breached coronavirus quarantine rules by coming to the House of Commons for a vote despite having symptoms of COVID-19.
Margaret Ferrier, Scottish National Party (SNP) MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, has been suspended by her party after it emerged that she travelled from Scotland to London on Monday and went on to address the Commons while she awaited her coronavirus test results and then travelled back home to Scotland by train after receiving a positive test.
Under the rules, Ferrier should have gone into self-isolation and awaited the results of her coronavirus test in order to contain any risk of infection.
The parliamentarian issued an apology and referred herself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, as well as to the police.
She now faces a fine of up to GBP 4,000 under the new law that came into force on the day of her positive test result. Police Scotland and Metropolitan Police are said to be looking into the circumstances of the breach.
The Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, led some of the outrage over the actions of the parliamentarian and expressed his 'complete shock that somebody could be so reckless' and said he was 'really very, very angry' that 'the House has been put at risk'.
'I would expect the member to consider what they have done, and the reckless behaviour, and how that looks to the rest of the country,” he said.
His rebuke came as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP colleague and Westminster leader Ian Blackford along with other party colleagues piled on the pressure for her to step down.
'I have no power to force a parliamentarian to resign but I hope she will do the right thing,' said Sturgeon.
'I think Margaret has got to reflect on her position as a parliamentarian. She knows we will be judged by our actions,” noted Blackford.
Ferrier, who won her seat for the SNP from the Labour Party in the December 2019 general election, is yet to indicate if she plans to resign and sit as an Independent parliamentarian instead.
The breach comes amid a series of high-profile instances, including former Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn being pictured at a dinner party in breach of the 'rule of six' rule on gathering numbers and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's father being seen in a London shop without a compulsory face mask. PTI AK RS RS