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Scottish MP suspended for travelling after positive COVID-19 test

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FILE: A photo of the House of Commons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FILE: A photo of the House of Commons during the COVID-19 pandemic.   -   Copyright  AP Photo
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A Scottish MP was suspended by the SNP for travelling to speak in parliament after being tested for COVID-19.

Margaret Ferrier, the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, travelled from Scotland to London after being tested for COVID-19 to speak in parliament and later learned her test was positive.

Ferrier spoke in parliament on Monday evening, the same day she found out about the result. It is unclear if Ferrier knew before speaking in the House of Commons about the result.

She then took a train from London to Scotland despite having tested positive.

"I apologise unreservedly for breaching COVID-19 restrictions by travelling this week when I shouldn't have. There is no excuse for my actions," Ferrier said in a statement.

She said she had travelled because she began to feel better but that it was wrong and that she should have been self-isolating.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said Ferrier's actions were "utterly indefensible."

"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," Sturgeon tweeted.

Ian Blackford, the Westminster group leader for the SNP, said he would suspend the whip from Ferrier.

"I have spoken with Margaret Ferrier this evening who fully accepts that what she did was wrong. Margaret will be referring herself to the parliamentary standards commissioner as well as the police. I am tonight suspending the whip from Margaret," Blackford tweeted.

Many criticised her actions severely after she tweeted the video of her speech in parliament the next day, despite having broken the rules.

Earlier in the year, Ferrier had criticised the actions of Dominic Cummings, who drove more than 200 miles from London to Durham with COVID-19 symptoms.