Margaret Ferrier arrested over alleged COVID-19 rule breach
A byelection could be on the horizon as Margaret Ferrier, who travelled by train from London to Scotland despite having Covid-19, faces a suspension from the House of Commons. The standards committee recommended that she be suspended for 30 days for breaching Covid-19 rules which, if imposed, could lead to a byelection in her constituency of Rutherglen and Hamilton West. Scottish Labour is not wasting any time pursuing the seat as leader Anas Sarwar spoke in the constituency slamming the SNP and Ms Ferrier, telling prospective voters that the SNP is “known for its lack of transparency”.
The Scottish Labour leader visited the constituency the day after the news broke of another scandal: that the SNP’s former executive and husband of Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell, had been arrested.
Mr Murrell, who has been caught up in the investigation over the SNP’s finances, was released without charge after almost 12 hours of questioning.
He has not been suspended from the party, the new leader Humza Yousaf confirmed this week, because he is “innocent until proven guilty”.
Speaking to prospective voters in disgraced Ms Ferrier’s constituency, Mr Sarwar said: “The SNP is mired in scandal, mired in division, talking to themselves about themselves — and focused on their own priorities, not the people’s priorities.”
He said the people in Rutherglen need both an MP and a government on their side, adding that he will now “throw everything” at winning the constituency by-election.
Ms Ferrier was convicted and ordered to complete 270 hours of community service after she admitted to recklessly exposing the public “to the risk of infection, illness and death” as a result of her actions in September 2020.
She was kicked out of the SNP when the allegations came to light but refused to resign, sitting as an independent instead.
Now, she is once again facing calls to “do the right thing” by the shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray, as well as the First Minister, and stand down as an MP.
Mr Sarwar, during the visit, said that the fury from the public at Ms Ferrier was evident: “When you’re out and about in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, you can feel the anger, it’s palpable, at how she has let them down, how she is mired in scandal…
“This area has been let down by the local MP that has been absent that broke the law.”
Local campaigners and MSPs have now been leafleting and rallying support for what could be a key win for Scottish Labour, whose poll results look more and more promising. In 2017, the party briefly regained the seat but would go on to lose it again at the 2019 general election.
One Labour source told Sky News that Ms Ferrier’s constituency was a seat they could win, adding: “There will likely be panic stations in SNP HQ.”
Russia losses near 200,000 as new report details Putin’s suffering[LATEST]
Harry and Meghan’s Coronation ‘demands’ deemed ‘far-fetched'[REPORT]
The Troubles in pictures — some of the conflict’s worst moments[INSIGHT]
Scottish Labour has now called for a snap election which has been backed by Mr Yousaf, who said he has called for her to step down “from day one,” adding: “We look forward to fighting that by-election and our strong track record but we won’t take anything for granted, we won’t be complacent.
“It will take hard work but it is the right thing for her to do, to stand down.”
A recent poll by Redfield and Wilton Strategies suggests that Labour is on its way up with the SNP leading by just five points, the party appearing to be closing in on its rival.
Now, just 36 percent said they would vote for the SNP if a general election were held tomorrow compared to the 45 percent who said the same in 2019. Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie has said that the Party is now “back in business” after years in the political backwaters.
Source: Read Full Article