SNP fury: Voter calls for Margaret Ferrier to resign ‘I don’t want an apology!’

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SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has called on Ms Ferrier to quit as an MP after she made a “monumental” error of judgment by taking public transport when she knew she had tested positive for coronavirus. The Scottish First Minister said she had spoken to Ms Ferrier – who has had the whip withdrawn by the SNP and made it “crystal clear” she should resign her seat, though the MP did not reveal what she intends to do. SNP voter, Peter, from Ms Ferrier’s constituency has also called for her to resign in a furious response.

Speaking to LBC, Peter said: “I don’t want to see an apology, I want to see her saying ‘I’ve resigned’.

“We’re sacrificing a lot to make sure this virus doesn’t get spread.”

He added: “She has to leave the job and she probably needs to have her collar felt.”

Ms Ferrier issued an apology on Thursday evening as she revealed she was tested for coronavirus on Saturday after developing symptoms, but then took a train to Parliament on Monday when she should have been self-isolating.

She spoke in a Commons debate on coronavirus on Monday, and was told at some point that evening she had tested positive.

Instead of self-isolating, she took a train back to Scotland on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told BBC Scotland it is vital “everyone obeys the rules and the guidance” regarding coronavirus.

He said that in March and April, people in Scotland and across the UK “came together and got the virus down”, but he added: “Alas what happened since then is that everyone got a bit… complacent and a bit blase.

“I think everybody should stick to the rules and that’s what they are there for. We’ve seen they did make a huge difference.”

Speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing on Friday, the First Minister could not hide her displeasure with her former party colleague and said Ms Ferrier should “come to the right decision” and step down as an MP.

Ms Sturgeon said: “This was a monumental, actually almost incomprehensible, error of judgment on Margaret’s part, and I can’t make my feelings on that any clearer than I am doing.

“There surely can be nobody in this country who doesn’t know that if you have a positive test for Covid you should isolate yourself, and you certainly shouldn’t sit on a train for six hours taking a 450-mile journey.”

SNP staff at Westminster say they were told on Wednesday Ms Ferrier had coronavirus, and initially thought she had taken the test after returning to Scotland – only learning about her breaches of self-isolation rules on Thursday.

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Ms Sturgeon said on Friday that Ms Ferrier had been unable to give a “cogent explanation” for her actions.

The First Minister added: “I don’t have the power to force an MP to sit down, no party leader has that power.

“But I can make my views known and – difficult though it is – I have done so, and I hope she will come to the right decision.”

Ms Sturgeon said while coronavirus rules have changed during the course of the pandemic, “the one rule that has been clear and unchanging really throughout this is the need to self-isolate when you have symptoms and get tested, and if you test positive to absolutely make sure you complete that self-isolation”.

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