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Scottish Labour begins formal process to select candidate for potential by-election in disgraced MP Margaret Ferrier’s seat

Margaret Ferrier MP.

Scottish Labour will have a candidate for a potential by-election in Margaret Ferrier’s constituency “within weeks”, it has been revealed.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard announced the start of the selection process, as the party steps up its campaign demanding the former SNP MP’s resignation from parliament.

The move would mean Scottish Labour has a candidate in place in the event of a by-election being called in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, if a recall petition is successful.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford have been among those calling on Ms Ferrier to stand down over the incident in which she travelled hundreds of miles by  public transport from her constituency to the House of Commons and back with Covid-19.

However, the disgraced MP last week said she had no intention of standing down.

It comes as Scotland Yard confirmed they cannot take action as the regulations on self-isolation came into force after Ms Ferrier was tested for the virus.

Under Commons rules, MPs can decide to suspend a fellow member for breaches of code of conduct.

If an MP is suspended for 30 parliamentary sitting days,  a by-election is triggered.

Mr Leonard said: “Margaret Ferrier has let down the people of this constituency and has forfeited her right to represent them in parliament, by flouting the laws on Covid-19 that we all have to follow.

“Rutherglen and Hamilton West deserves an MP whose priority is to fight to protect workers’ jobs and incomes, that are facing such a severe threat from Covid, rather than focusing on preserving a parliamentary salary and Westminster perks.

 

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard.

 

“Labour will select a candidate who will campaign for the right to serve the people of this community and be a strong voice for them in the House of Commons, as we face an unprecedented public health and economic crisis.

“The voters of Rutherglen and Hamilton West deserve better than a lame duck MP, who only speaks up for her own interests.

“That’s why Labour is bringing forward its’s candidate selection process, so that we are ready to contest a by-election which local people are crying out for.”

 

The voters of Rutherglen and Hamilton West deserve better than a lame duck MP, who only speaks up for her own interests.

Richard Leonard, Scottish Labour leader

 

In a previous interview with The Sun on Sunday, Ms Ferrier said she planned to “keep fighting for my constituents because that’s who I am”.

She added that she has received support locally in the wake of the incident and has “owned up and apologised profusely”.

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