Margaret Ferrier should quit as MP over Covid breaches, insists Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has repeated her call for disgraced MP Margaret Ferrier to quit for repeatedly breaching coronavirus rules by travelling after developing symptoms.

The former SNP MP has said she will not resign despite backlash over her journeys between Glasgow and Westminster with Covid-19 symptoms and then having tested positive for the virus.

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.

The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, who was suspended by the SNP and had the party whip withdrawn over the saga, said she had no intention of standing down.

She told the paper: “This has been an awful experience but I’ll keep fighting for my constituents because that’s who I am.”

But speaking on Sky News’ Sophie Ridge On Sunday show, 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 judgment 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?”