The Clerk of the House of Commons, Dr John Benger, has been asked whether the Covid guidelines should be 'idiot-proofed' following claims made by Margaret Ferrier that she was abiding by the rules in travelling back to Glasgow from London knowing she had tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Dr Benger responded forcefully by saying:
"I can't comment on the Margaret Ferrier case for obvious reasons.
"What I would say is that we have a helpline and if anyone's in any doubt at all, they can ring the helpline and get advice, very rapidly on what guidance should be followed.
"If anyone had any uncertainty about what they were supposed to do in the event that they were tested, or had come into contact with someone who is self isolating, we have helplines available for that."
No One Resigns Anymore (12/10/20)
Margaret Ferrier breaks her silence on Covid train trips and says she WON’T quit
By Kevin Duguid - Scottish SunBut, despite being suspended by the SNP, Ms Ferrier, 60, insisted: “I’m continuing to work hard.”
The under-fire MP has told how she “panicked” after finding out she had coronavirus — and took a 350-mile train trip back to Scotland.
The SNP politician said having the killer bug made her “act out of character” as she defended her earlier decision to travel to London and speak in Parliament after showing symptoms and taking a test.
She revealed she got the shock news of her positive result in her Westminster office after taking part in a House of Commons debate.
Ms Ferrier told The Scottish Sun on Sunday she was stunned to find out she was infected as her “tickly throat” had disappeared by then.
Let's Hear From Margaret (03/10/20)
Nicola Sturgeon was apparently struggling yesterday to understand why one of her MPs (Margaret Ferrier) 'did what she did' in travelling back and forward to London with the suspicion, then certain knowledge that she was carrying the highly infectious Coronavirus.
Now unlike the rest of us the First Minister has had the opportunity of putting this very question to the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, but I for one would like to hear what Margaret Ferrier has to say for herself.
After all she is in a very highly paid (£75,000 a year), responsible job and she was selected by the SNP to fight her Lanarkshire seat on two separate occasions which has to mean that the SNP leadership does not believe that her head 'button's up the back'.
So I would be very interested to know what possessed an experienced Member of Parliament to ignore all the official advice, along with all the daily briefings given by her party leader, before setting off on a kamikaze mission which looks like ruining her career.
Now I understand that the SNP leadership would like Margaret Ferrier to resign with immediate effect, as this would trigger a by-election, allow them to select a new candidate and forget this whole tawdry business ever happened, but there are bigger issues at stake.
Once Margaret Ferrier has recovered from the effects of Covid-19 I think she should be invited to spell out how she got herself into this terrible mess because both Margaret and the SNP owe the public a better explanation than just throwing one of their members under the bus.
Do As I Say - Not As I Do (02/10/20)
I'm sure this will merit a mention at the First Minister's daily press briefings, but given the seriousness of the situation I suspect it deserves a full statement in the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament.
SNP MP Margaret Ferrier travelled from London to Scotland by train after positive result for coronavirus
SNP MP travelled from Scotland to London after testing positive for Covid-19
AN SNP MP has admitted breaking lockdown rules by travelling back and forth between Scotland and London by train while positive for coronavirus.
The Rutherglen MP, who previously called for Dominic Cummings to resign over his Barnard Castle trip, has issued an apology for her actions on social media.