Scottish MP Margaret Ferrier to face August trial on Covid rule-breach charge

6 January 2022, 12:04

Margaret Ferrier will face a trial in August
Margaret Ferrier will face a trial in August. Picture: Alamy
Gina Davidson

By Gina Davidson

Scottish MP Margaret Ferrier will stand trial in August accused of breaking Covid laws when she allegedly travelled between Glasgow and London in 2020 knowing she had symptoms of the virus.

Ms Ferrier is also alleged to have travelled in and around Glasgow between September 26 and 29 2020 despite having been told to self-isolate.

The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, who was suspended by the SNP in the wake of her journeys, appeared in Glasgow’s sheriff court today where she pleaded not guilty and was granted bail.

She denies wilfully exposing people to the risk of illness and death.

Prosecutor Mark Allan told the court: "Due to the pandemic, the trial will not be fixed for a number of months.

"A pre-trial hearing will be useful. There are a number of civilian witnesses with significant commitments to parliament that will require to be worked around."

Paul Kavanagh, defending, said: "She pleads not guilty. The trial will only take four to five days at most. Most of the evidence will be capable of agreement."

Prosecutors state the 61-year-old “culpably and recklessly” booked a test for Covid-19, stating in the booking application that she had symptoms of the virus.

The charges also state she was told to self-isolate and wilfully exposed people to the risk of infection, illness and death, that she made a taxi journey from her home in Glasgow’s Cambuslang to the city’s Central train station, and that she travelled to London Euston station and elsewhere including the Houses of Parliament.

Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC fixed a pre-trial hearing in June as well as the trial on 15 August which is expected to last five days.