UK Parliamentarian Who Travelled On Train With Covid Faces Suspension
A Scottish politician, who took a train from London to Glasgow after testing positive for COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic, is facing a 30-day suspension from the House of Commons, according to The Guardian. The standards committee of the UK Parliament said Margaret Ferrier damaged the reputation of Parliament and put the public at risk when she travelled by train, the outlet further said. If the punishment is agreed by vote in the House of Commons, it would open up the possibility of by-election in the seat that she won in 2017.
Ms Ferrier won the election by 5,230 votes on a Scottish National Party ticket and a Labour Party candidate came second. She lost a party whip and since pleaded guilty to breaching Covid rules. She was also sentenced to 270 hours of community service, The Guardian report further said.
Ms Ferrier spoke in Parliament before undertaking the train journey in September 2020 while awaiting the results of a Covid test, the BBC said. The parliamentarian went ahead with the journey despite being told she has tested positive.
Explaining the procedure of suspension, the outlet said any MP suspended from House of Commons for at least 10 days can be recalled and a by-election held if at least 10 per cent of the registered voters in their constituency sign a petition calling for it to happen.
The investigation was done by Daniel Greenberg, the parliamentary commissioner for standards. He concluded that Ms Ferrier put her personal interest before the public interest by not self-isolating, the BBC report said.
Ms Ferrier, meanwhile, told the commissioner that she had referred herself on October 12 last year, and the act was an “indication of remorse”. The parliamentarian rejected the charge that she did not put her personal interest above that of the public.
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