An MP has admitted travelling to Parliament after undertaking a coronavirus test – for which she later received a positive result.
Margaret Ferrier, an SNP MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, apologised for her actions in a statement today. She also apologised for travelling back to Scotland from London by train the day after receiving confirmation she had Covid-19.
She 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.’
During her time in the Commons on Monday, Ferrier stood up and paid tribute to NHS staff and care workers who have supported others throughout the pandemic.
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In her statement today, said she she had notified the Commons authorities, who contacted Public Health England. She stated that she had also reported her actions to the police.
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.’
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford tweeted this evening to say Ferrier has had the whip suspended. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the SNP, slammed Ferrier for her ‘utterly indefensible’ actions.
She said: ‘It’s hard to express just how angry I feel on behalf of people across the country making hard sacrifices every day to help beat covid. The rules apply to everyone and they’re in place to keep people safe.’
A spokesperson for the Commons confirmed that they had been in touch with Ferrier. They went on: ‘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.’
Ferrier previously hit out at Boris Johnson’s senior aide, Dominic Cummings, after he was found to have broken strict coronavirus restrictions by driving to Durham in April.
At the time, she tweeted: ‘Johnson at [Number] 10 briefing says Cummings acted “responsibly, legally & with integrity” by travelling to Durham. One rule for Dominic Cummings and one for the rest of us.’
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