MP pleads guilty to breaching Covid rules by travelling on train after being told to self-isolate

In a hearing on Thursday, Margaret Ferrier admitted that she culpably and recklessly exposed the public to risk of infection

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MP Margaret Ferrier has pleaded guilty to breaching Covid rules by travelling on a train between Scotland and London after being told to self-isolate in September 2020.

In a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday, Ms Ferrier admitted that she culpably and recklessly exposed the public to risk of Covid-19 infection.

Ferrier, an independent MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, admitted wilfully exposing people “to the risk of infection, illness and death” by visiting various places in the Glasgow area and London having been told to self-isolate in late September 2020.

She had the SNP whip removed in 2020 after the allegations emerged and has come under pressure to resign from her seat, but remains an MP.

Margaret Ferrier
Margaret Ferrier

The 61-year-old had been due to go on trial this week but pleaded guilty on Thursday.

At a hearing in July, the court was told by fiscal depute Mark Allan the charge against the MP would be amended to add that she failed “to disclose to representatives of Test and Protect national contact tracing centre NHS Scotland that you entered the Houses of Parliament in London on September 28 2020”.

Prosecutors alleged that having booked a test for Covid-19, the 61-year-old “culpably and recklessly” put people at risk by visiting places including Lifestyle Leisure Centre, Vanilla Salon, gift shop Sweet P Boutique in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, St Mungo’s Church in Glasgow, and Vic’s Bar in Prestwick, South Ayrshire.

Ms Ferrier, of Cambuslang, was said to have taken a taxi from Cambuslang to Glasgow Central Station, and then from there she was accused of travelling on the train to London Euston and back.

She was accused of visiting the Houses of Parliament in the capital, along with other places unknown to prosecutors.

It was alleged that having booked a test for Covid-19, stating in the booking application she was suffering symptoms of the disease, and having been told to self-isolate, she put people at risk between September 26 and 29 2020 by travelling throughout Glasgow and the surrounding areas, and travelling between Glasgow and London.