Politics

Former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier to stand trial over Covid rule breach charges

Margaret Ferrier, who has resisted calls to resign as MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court this morning.

Ms Ferrier pleaded not guilty to a single charge of wilfully exposing people “to the risk of infection, illness and death” and will now stand trial in August, accused of travelling from Glasgow to London in the knowledge she had symptoms of Coronavirus.

The 61-year-old allegedly made several journeys having been told to self-isolate between September 26 and 29, 2020.

Prosecutors state the politician “culpably and recklessly” booked a test for Covid 19 and then visited other places, stating in the test booking application that she had symptoms of the disease.

The charge claims she was told to self-isolate and wilfully exposed people to the risk of infection, illness and death.

It is alleged this was done by travelling throughout Glasgow and the surrounding areas as well as journeys to and from London.

Allegations state Ferrier was at a variety of locations over the three days, including locations in Rutherglen such as Lifestyle Leisure centre, Sweet P Boutique and Vanilla Salon.

Ms Ferrier also allegedly visited Grace and Flavour restaurant in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, as well as St Mungo’s Church, Glasgow and Vic’s Bar in Prestwick.

The charge states Ferrier made a taxi journey from her home in Glasgow’s Cambuslang to Central train station.

It is claimed she travelled to London Euston station and elsewhere in the capital including the Houses of Parliament.

She is then said to have made the return journey to Glasgow from London by train.

Fiscal depute Mark Allan said: “There will be a few police witnesses but the majority of the case will be taken up with civilian witnesses.

“There are also a number of civilian witnesses with significant commitments to Parliament which will require to be worked around.”

Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC set a trial date for August 15, with a pre-trial hearing to take place on June 14.

The MP appeared in the dock at Glasgow Sheriff Court this morning, and entered a not guilty plea to the single charge.

 

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