Met will not charge MP Margaret Ferrier for travelling with Covid | UK news
The Metropolitan police has said it will not charge the MP Margaret Ferrier with breaching Covid travel restrictions, because her positive test took place three days before the legal requirement to self-isolate came into force.
The Met said it had investigated Ferrier’s decision to travel to Glasgow from London the day after receiving results saying she was positive for Covid-19, but found that no breach of the new regulations had been committed.
It said its legal advice was that the new legal requirement to self-isolate in England under the Health Protection Regulations 2020 came into force on the day of her journey, Tuesday 29 September, but they did not apply to her because she took the actual test three days earlier.
Ferrier is under intense pressure to resign as MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West after admitting she had travelled to London the day after taking a Covid-19 test on Saturday 26 September, before taking part in a Commons debate on the NHS on the Monday while awaiting her result.
She admitted to Scottish National party officials on the Wednesday that after getting her positive result on Monday, she had then taken two trains home the following day, knowing she was ill with Covid-19. It later emerged she went to church and visited a beauty salon, gift shop and leisure centre after her test and after her symptoms began.
Ferrier has been suspended by the SNP and is still under investigation by parliamentary authorities; the Met said they had passed on its files to Police Scotland to help its investigations.
In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the Met said: “On detailed examination of this new legislation, and following legal advice, it was concluded that this regulation is applicable only after the 28th September 2020. In this case the test occurred prior to the 29th September 2020 and therefore the regulation does not apply.
“As such, there will be no further action in relation to this investigation from the Metropolitan police. We are in liaison with Police Scotland and have referred the matter to them for consideration.”
Police Scotland said they were taking account of the Met’s decision not to charge Ferrier in its investigation, and were consulting prosecutors at the Crown Office about the implications of that decision.
It tweeted: “We are aware of the decision by @metpoliceuk. We will now assess the circumstances and consult with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service before taking a decision on next steps.”
Ferrier has since said she decided to return home because she had felt “shocked and panicked” after getting the positive result, and claims she had been “hung out to dry” by the SNP.
An SNP spokesperson said: “Police Scotland and the parliamentary standards commissioner are still considering matters. It is important that due process is followed, and we will not be offering further comment. Ms Ferrier remains suspended from the SNP.”