MPs vote on Margaret Ferrier’s 30-day ban 2023

The former SNP politician’s Covid rule violations during lockdown warranted the extraordinary censure from Parliament’s Standards Committee.

If MPs vote for the extended penalty at 5pm today, the Speaker will tell the South Lanarkshire Returning Officer, who will launch a recall petition with signature stations around the area.

Ms Ferrier will lose her position and a by-election if 10% of her constituents sign the petition in six weeks.

How many of her former SNP colleagues will vote to end the disgraced politician’s career is unclear.

The party’s Commons Standards Committee MP supported punishment leniency.

Allan Dorans voted to ban Ferrier for nine sitting days. That would have eliminated recall petitions.

The mechanism, introduced after the expenditures scandal, requires a suspension of at least 10 sitting days.

Joanna Cherry called SNP colleagues’ treatment of Ferrier “shameful.”

“She is a thoroughly decent woman who made a bad mistake for which she has already paid dearly,” she tweeted.

SNP MPs may return to Scotland following the vote on Thursday at 5pm.

The SNP will formally seek to unseat Ferrier.

Parties, organizations, and individuals can register with the Electoral Commission and spend £10,000 on the petition under the Recall Act 2015.

Ferrier was convicted guilty of culpable and reckless behaviour at Glasgow Sheriff Court in August after she confessed riding a train in September 2020 knowing she had Covid.

While awaiting Covid test results, the MP spoke in the House of Commons and visited Mungo’s church and a Prestwick, Ayrshire pub in Glasgow.

She lied to coworkers that she had to see a sick relative after the good result.

After pleading guilty to exposing individuals to “infection, illness, and death,” she was sentenced to 270 hours of community service.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Daniel Greenberg, found that Ms Ferrier violated paragraph 11 of the MP’s Code of Conduct “by placing her own personal interest of not wishing to self-isolate immediately or in London over the public interest of avoiding possible risk of harm to health and life for people she came into contact with once she had received a positive Covid-19 test result”.

He stated she violated paragraph 17 of the Code “as her actions commencing from when she first took a Covid-19 test to when she finally begins self-isolation have caused significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, and of its Members generally”.

Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, Jackie Baillie, believes they will win the seat.

Michael Shanks is their candidate.

SNP members will vote on their nominee soon.

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