Shamed ex-SNP politician Margaret Ferrier has vowed to keep her £ 80,000-a-year MP job despite widespread anger over a staggering coronation rule violation in which she traveled 800 miles across the UK while infected, and claims it was a "slip up".
The audacious politician, 60, blamed "mixed up" rules after admitting that she had traveled by train from her constituency in Rutherglen, Scotland, to Parliament in London – and then back – while suffering from Covid.
She was stripped of the SNP whip when she was told to leave the Commons entirely in order to endanger people's lives.
But last night, she insisted she wouldn't step down and trigger a by-election, claiming Covid "makes you act out of character".
Scotland Yard previously confirmed that it is investigating MPs for alleged violations of coronavirus laws to prevent those infected from passing it on to others.
Ms. Ferrier told The Sun on Sunday that she had panicked but remained firmly convinced that she had followed the rules correctly.
Speaking of the backlash, she said, "You feel like you get a lot of criticism from people who you thought were your coworkers or friends who would understand that it was a single mistake."
But her demeanor was classified as "exceptionally arrogant" by Tory MSP Annie Wells, who said, "She has put lives in danger. Time to go."
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon repeated her call to Mrs Ferrier this morning to stop.
The party leader confirmed that steps had also been taken to withdraw Ms. Ferrier's SNP membership. "I read the comments in the media today and I still hope she'll do the right thing."
SNP Margaret Ferrier brushed off her 800 mile round trip to Parliament with coronavirus symptoms as a "slip" and instead blamed the "mixed up" rules
She added: “We have suspended her from party membership. We now have a proper process to go through.
“I cannot unilaterally choose to exclude someone. We have a process and the SNP in that process will take its course. We have done everything we can in terms of SNP membership at this stage.
“No party leader has the power to remove an MP from parliament, but I couldn't be clearer that she should leave parliament unacceptably that I don't think there is any other acceptable course of action for her. & # 39;
Ms. Ferrier traveled by train from Scotland to London while waiting for the results of a Covid test late last month, and then traveled back the following day after she was told the test was positive.
Pictures on her Twitter page showed her in several public places likely to be busy on a Saturday, including the Vanilla Salon and South Lanarkshire Eastfield Lifestyle Recreation Center in Rutherglen, as well as the Sweet P gift shop in Burnside.
Ms. Ferrier said, “A lot of people say Covid makes you do things outside of character. You don't think clearly.
At that moment, when I thought it was going to turn out negative and positive, I was utterly shocked. You could have knocked me over …
Ms. Ferrier, 60, (pictured with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon) has yet to leave the House of Commons despite being stripped of the SNP whip for being told to stop in order to put people's lives in danger
& # 39; It can be a serious error of assessment. I do not deny that. People may say, "You should have known better, you are a public figure" – but at the end of the day it still hurts. You think then, is all that hard work and dedication just wiped away? & # 39;
Mrs Ferrier went on to say that the rules had "changed and so mixed up" in recent months.
She also slammed out critics who compared her to Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister's aide, who had traveled 260 miles to be around relatives at the height of the pandemic.
Ms Ferrier could face a £ 4,000 fine for first "inconsiderate" contact with others if she was supposed to self-isolate under a law that went into effect on the day she tested positive.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said earlier this week he was "surprised, amazed and shocked" that Ms. Ferrier has not resigned yet.
He told Sky News & # 39; Sophy Ridge on Sunday her actions were & # 39; irresponsible and dangerous & # 39 ;.
Meanwhile, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has recently been under pressure to join a recall petition that could oust Ms. Ferrier from her job.
Scottish union leader Richard Leonard said Ms. Sturgeon must support the move that could be sparked if she is suspended from the House of Commons for two weeks.
According to parliamentary rules, the MPs would stand before a by-election if at least 10 percent of their 81,000 voters would sign.
Ms. Sturgeon used a series of sayings and said her "head is in her hands" when she was told that her "friend and colleague" had broken the law, sources told the Times.
The Scottish First Minister also referred to Margaret Ferrier as "Margaret Covid" in a mistake during Friday's press conference when debating when she first knew Ms. Ferrier had violated coronavirus restrictions.
She said at the time, “The first thing I knew about Margaret Covid, um, Margaret Ferrier, who had Covid, was yesterday afternoon. I think people can imagine how I will react to that. & # 39;
However, Ms. Sturgeon had previously made exactly the same gaffe, explaining: "Patrick Grady and the SNP did not know last Monday or Tuesday that Margaret suspected Covid or then confirmed Covid."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Glasgow (t) Coronavirus (t) SNP (t) London