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MP facing £4,000 fine after travelling hundreds of miles by train after testing positive

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
2nd Oct 20 10:43 am

Margaret Ferrier MP travelled from Scotland to London on Monday whilst having Covid symptoms, then made a speech in Parliament was tested positive for the virus and then travelled back to Scotland via public transport.

Ian Blackford the Westminster leader of the SNP was “gobsmacked,” and he told Sky News, “I don’t have any powers over her… I can’t force an MP to resign.”

Blackford added, “I think Margaret has got to reflect on her position as an MP. She knows we will be judged by our actions…

“I have to say, when you have a breach such as this it’s really important that you take your own responsibilities.

“Margaret’s an honourable individual… there is that responsibility – there’s that honour and dignity that you have to have as a public official, and I think it’s pretty clear Margaret should do the right thing.

“I can’t compel her to do that, but she has to reflect on the circumstances that she’s put herself and other people in.”

Ferrier said, “On Saturday afternoon, after experiencing mild symptoms, I requested a covid test which I took that day.

“Feeling much better, I then travelled to London by train on Monday to attend Parliament as planned. This was wrong and I am very sorry for my mistake.

“On Monday evening I received a positive test result for Covid-19. I travelled home by train on Tuesday morning without seeking advice.

“This was also wrong, and I am sorry. I have been self-isolating at home ever since.”

She added, “Despite feeling well, I should have self-isolated while waiting for my test result, and I deeply regret my actions.

“I take full responsibility and I would urge everyone not to make the same mistakes that I have and do all they can to help limit the spread of Covid-19.”

Ferrier is facing a fine of up to £4,000 under the new laws that came into force on Monday, the very same day she tested positive and broke coronavirus laws.

The Metropolitan Police and Police Scotland are now “looking into the circumstances.”

A spokesperson for the House of Commons confirmed said, “The House’s priority is to ensure that those on the estate are safe while business is facilitated.

“We have closely followed public health guidance on the action to take following a confirmed case of covid on site. Parliament has a dedicated team to support the test and trace teams across the UK, acting as a central point of contact in the event of any suspected or confirmed cases, where an individual has been working on the Estate.

“We are also implementing a number of cleaning measures to ensure those working on the Estate can maintain a clean and hygienic working environment and ensuring Parliament adheres to the Government’s ‘working safely during coronavirus’ guidance.

“Our risk assessment outlines the measures we have already put in place to reduce the risk of transmission in Parliament. The Speakers and political leadership of both Houses are keeping the situation under constant review.”

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