Ferrier recall petition to close on Monday

The petition in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency will close at 5pm.

Craig Paton
Monday 31 July 2023 02:45 BST
Margaret Ferrier was suspended from the Commons for 30 days (Roger Harris/UK Parliament/PA)
Margaret Ferrier was suspended from the Commons for 30 days (Roger Harris/UK Parliament/PA) (PA Media)

The recall petition sparked by the suspension of MP Margaret Ferrier from the House of Commons is due to close on Monday.

Ms Ferrier was found guilty of breaching Covid restrictions after travelling between London and Glasgow while knowing she had contracted the virus.

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP – who has sat as an independent since being kicked out of the SNP – was subsequently suspended from the Commons for 30 days, sparking a recall petition that could lead to a by-election.

With petition signing places due to close at 5pm on Monday, 10% of the electorate – 8,113 people of 81,124 who live in the constituency – are required to spark a contest.

Both the SNP and Labour are expected to campaign hard for the seat in the event of a by-election, with a contest the parliamentary test for new First Minister Humza Yousaf.

The closure of the petition comes in the days after former first minister Alex Salmond spoke out in support of Ms Ferrier, accusing former SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon of throwing her to the “media wolves” after the party whip was withdrawn in the wake of the breaches becoming public, accusing the party of a “totally depressing display of disloyalty”.

Mr Yousaf rejected the claims, saying: “It’s not just an error of judgment of course, Margaret Ferrier was guilty of a number of charges as well. That’s pretty serious.

“I think Alex Salmond, perhaps not for the first time in this regard, is in a minority in terms of how Margaret Ferrier has been treated.”

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