Nicola Sturgeon’s response to Margaret Ferrier vital in restoring public confidence

THE MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West has been guilty of an enormous error of judgement regarding her thoughtless disregard for the current coronavirus rules and subsequently must resign.

Her actions have not only endangered public health but heap more unnecessary pressure on to her party and, in particular, the First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon has, correctly, asked Ms Ferrier to do the decent thing and stand down and her response has been quick, proportionate and undeviating in an attempt to restore public confidence in Scotland’s elected representatives.

This is in sharp contrast to the lamentable dearth of leadership that has been demonstrated by the Conservative party and its leader throughout this health crisis.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon slams Margaret Ferrier for travelling with Covid-19

The Cummings “should have gone to Specsavers” debacle was not the only high-profile breach of Covid rules we have witnessed in recent months from the governing party in Westminster.

Housing minister Robert Jenrick flouted lockdown rules in April, Tory MP Rob Roberts was the victim of a police raid on his home following an illegal house party and the hapless West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP, Andrew Bowie ignored social distancing rules in August whilst in a pub.

Very few attempts at excuses were made for their behaviour and either feeble or no apologies were forthcoming.

The stark and glaring difference is obvious. Scotland has a leader with a clear, unambiguous message that no-one is above the rules and that we are all in this together.

If anyone breaks the rules, whether it is Ms Ferrier or former chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood, they will suffer the consequences. The UK Prime Minister, on the other hand, openly endorses a “one rule for us and one rule for the public” philosophy. He appears totally ambivalent about his MPs, MSPs, advisers or family nonchalantly and arrogantly defying his directives, even when he remembers what they actually are. His leadership is characterised by chaos, wilful ignorance and sheer indolence.

Margaret Ferrier will have cause to deeply regret her foolishness, but I wish her well in her recovery from this dreadful pestilence. The swift and commensurate actions of Ms Sturgeon will ensure that the Scottish Government’s health messages and decisions will endure.

Owen KellyStirling

WELL done, Nicola Sturgeon. What an impressive, superhuman performance! At Friday’s coronavirus briefing it appeared every media news commentater had turned up.

Were they there to ask questions that would support the country in its fight against the global pandemic?

No, of course not. They were there to try to undermine the SNP because of SNP MP Margaret Ferrier’s foolish and reckless actions regarding her disregard to being virus positive.

READ MORE: Margaret Ferrier remains defiant as calls for her resignation mount

Sturgeon responded to the barrage of repeated similar questions impeccably. Their political motivations were clear to all. Sturgeon was consistent in denouncing Ferrier’s actions. The SNP have removed the whip and asked her to resign. Sturgeon can do no more but the media came at her time and time again, unashamedly trying to catch her out.

In turn, Sturgeon indicated how a politician with integrity should respond to such a crisis, unlike Tory counterparts who always fall short by sweeping problems under the carpet, make no comment or give out excuses.

Sturgeon is different class.

Robin MacLeanFort Augustus

AS an SNP member, I’m so angry at the stupidity of Margaret Ferrier. Travelling with symptoms was bad enough, but to then travel again after being tested positive for Covid-19 is reprehensible.

This, in my eyes, was not a mistake as she most certainly made a conscious decision to travel.

I, like many I’m sure, will be wondering at the motives of this woman doing what she did.

Not only has she let our First Minister down, she has let down the SNP and all her constituents.

As far as I’m concerned she should resign as soon as possible. She has given the British Nationalists ammunition to carp about, and carp they will even although they have broken plenty of rules themselves.

I don’t want people like Margaret Ferrier in the SNP. They demean the party. I just wonder if anyone was infected with coronavirus by this woman.

Anne SmartMilton of Campsie

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