George Galloway ready to replace shamed MP Margaret Ferrier after coronavirus breaches

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Margaret Ferrier had the SNP whip withdrawn following revelations about her behaviour after she developed COVID-19 symptoms. The Rutherglen MP developed coronavirus symptoms and took a test on Saturday, September 26.

 

But she breached rules by travelling to London the following Monday and then taking a train back to Scotland on the Tuesday after receiving a positive result.

Ms Ferrier is also reported to have attended a church service on a Sunday after she took the test.

But despite the calls from across the political spectrum – including from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – to stand down, Ms Ferrier remains the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

And, following calls for Ms Ferrier to stand down, George Galloway has said he is prepared to challenge for the seat if there is a future by-election.

The leader of the Alliance for Unity movement also said today that he wanted Unionist parties to back a single candidate.

He stressed this method would give them a better chance of defeating the SNP in any future Holyrood elections.

Taking to social media, Mr Galloway said: “The three main pro-union parties better make a deal whereby they all stand aside for each other – starting with the by-election which must be called for Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

“Or they will all be facing me in that by-election (no matter who phones me).”

The former Labour MP previously said that he would stand at the 2021 Holyrood elections and says his new Alliance for Unity movement can put several MSPs into Parliament.

He said this was due to voters’ disillusionment with the big pro-Union parties, whom he claims have become “anonymous”.

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer will speak to residents from Ms Ferrier’s constituency, following outrage over the MP’s breaches of coronavirus rules.

He will host a “Call Keir” virtual meeting with constituents in Rutherglen and Hamilton West this afternoon.

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Voters will be invited to discuss the issue with Sir Keir, as well as the UK and Scottish governments’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the call, the Labour leader said it is “beggars belief” that Ms Ferrier has so far refused to step down as an MP, calling it a “gross error of judgment”.

Sir Keir said: “After admitting to multiple serious breaches of the coronavirus regulations, it beggars belief that Margaret Ferrier thinks it is appropriate to continue as an MP. This is a gross error of judgment.

“I want to speak directly to local residents about this scandal, to those locally who are feeling angry and frustrated about the situation.

“I also want to hear how the community is coping with coronavirus, how they feel the UK and Scottish governments have handled the pandemic, and what the Labour Party needs to do to rebuild trust among those voters we have lost.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has also launched a petition demanding that Ms Ferrier quits.

Speaking this morning, Mr Leonard said: “Margaret Ferrier is clearly putting her parliamentary salary and access to Westminster perks above the needs of the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West, who deserve a strong voice at a time when the virus is surging and jobs and living standards are facing such a grave threat.

“Margaret Ferrier has let down her constituents and is now seeking to tough it out solely in her own interests, in the hope that she will be able to cling on.

“As Scottish Labour leader, I will not tolerate a situation where a community that has already been let down, is left voiceless by a lame-duck MP, who has betrayed the people she was elected to represent after she was elected on an SNP platform less than a year ago.”

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