MARGARET Ferrier’s refusal to resign after breaking coronavirus rules is a “kick in the teeth”, according to Rutherglen’s’s MSP.
Ferrier, who is the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, had the party whip withdrawn after travelling while awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test.
She said the infection caused her to act “out of character” and she “panicked” before taking the train trip back to Scotland and said she has no intention of standing down as an MP.
In an interview with The Scottish Sun, she claims the whip was withdrawn around an hour after she posted a supposedly scripted statement in which she admitted breaking the rules.
Responding after the interview, Clare Haughey revealed that her mother-in-law had died of coronavirus, adding that the rules are “tough but necessary”.
She said: “To say that I am completely disappointed by Margaret Ferrier’s refusal to resign is an understatement – I am angry and I know I’m not alone feeling that.
“I have worked alongside her for many years, campaigning for and with her in elections, and counted on her as a friend. In that spirit, I ask her again to do the right thing, listen to the anger of her constituents, and resign as our MP.
“I, along with the overwhelming majority of Scottish people, have followed Scottish Government advice to protect others from Covid-19.
“I lost my mother-in-law to this cruel disease. Under these tough but necessary rules, my family were denied an opportunity to get together, to mourn and share memories. There was no wake – only a funeral socially distant with no one but immediate family there.
“This experience is by no means unique, and the sacrifices many, many people have made for the sake of others is incalculable.”
She went on: “As an MSP, I cannot thank people enough for sticking to the public health advice to keep each other safe.
“People in South Lanarkshire and across the Central Belt are living under particularly difficult restrictions to help stem the rise of Covid cases and deaths.
“Many of my close family members, like thousands of others, are key workers in our NHS and Police Scotland, and they have put their safety and lives on the line to protect and care for others during this pandemic.
“Margaret’s actions are a kick in the teeth for all those following the rules and those working to keep us safe.
“I’m not willing to sit idly by and I feel I must speak up again – Margaret must do the right thing and resign.”
Nicola Sturgeon denied that she waited to see the public’s reaction before condemning Ferrier’s actions.
READ MORE: FM says SNP did not wait until public outcry to suspend whip from Margaret Ferrier
Earlier, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford discussed Ferrier on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme.
He said she had “breached the trust of her constituents” and removing the whip was the limit of what he could do.
Blackford encouraged her to resign as an MP and said the guidance for MPs around coronavirus is clear.
He added: “The idea that Margaret as an elected politician didn’t know what the requirements are is a bit fanciful to say the least.”