SNP's Margaret Ferrier sparks coronavirus alert in Westminster after positive ...

An SNP MP tonight sparked a major coronavirus alert in the heart of Westminster after admitting travelling more than 400 miles from her Scottish constituency to speak in Parliament while suffering from Covid-19.

Margaret Ferrier apologised for leaving her Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency south of Glasgow to attend the Commons in London on Monday.

She knew she was experiencing symptoms of the virus and was awaiting the results of a weekend test at the time she made the cross-country train journey to the capital.

The 60-year-old appeared in the Commons chamber on Monday evening, delivering a four-minute speech to MPs during a general debate on the pandemic.

And astonishingly, after getting a positive test result that night, the following morning she travelled 400 miles back to her Lanarkshire seat by train - without informing anyone of her condition - before self-isolating at home. 

She was suspended by the SNP tonight as MPs from across politics tonight condemned her behaviour as reckless and putting public health at risk. 

Her own leader, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, branded the MP's actions 'utterly indefensible' and said it was hard to express 'how angry' she felt.  

Ms Ferrier, who won her seat back off Labour in December, has also referred herself to the police and the parliamentary standards authorities.

Under laws that came into force on the day of her positive test, she could face a £1,000 fine for a first-time offence of breaching self-isolation rules. 

Her actions are all the more startling because of her vehement criticism of No10 advisor Dominic Cummings when he was accused of breaching lockdown in May. 

Astonishingly, the 60-year-old received a positive result on Monday night and still appeared in the Commons chamber (pictured), speaking in a debate on coronavirus and its impact on the economy and jobs

Astonishingly, the 60-year-old received a positive result on Monday night and still appeared in the Commons chamber (pictured), speaking in a debate on coronavirus and its impact on the economy and jobs

The following morning she travelled 400 miles back to her Lanarkshire seat by train, without informing anyone of her condition

The following morning she travelled 400 miles back to her Lanarkshire seat by train, without informing anyone of her condition

The actions are all the most astonishing because she was earlier this year outspoken in criticising the Government for defending No10 advisor Dominic Cummings when he was accused of breaching lockdown

The actions are all the most astonishing because she was earlier this year outspoken in criticising the Government for defending No10 advisor Dominic Cummings when he was accused of breaching lockdown

Her own leader, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, branded her MP's actions 'utterly indefensible' and said it was hard to express 'how angry' she felt

Her own leader, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, branded her MP's actions 'utterly indefensible' and said it was hard to express 'how angry' she felt

Margaret Ferrier's statement in full

'I apologise unreservedly for breaching Covid-19 restrictions by travelling this week when I shouldn't have. There is no excuse for my actions.

'On Saturday afternoon, after experiencing mild symptoms, I requested a Covid-19 test which I took that day. Feeling much better, I then travelled to London by train on Monday to attend Parliament as planned. This was wrong, and I am very sorry for my mistake.

'On Monday evening I received a positive test result for Covid-19. I travelled home by train on Tuesday morning without seeking advice. This was also wrong and I am sorry. I have been self-isolating at home ever since.

'I have used Test and Protect and I have notified the House of Commons authorities who have spoken with Public Health England. I have also notified the police of my actions.

'Despite feeling well, I should have self-isolated while waiting for my test result, and I deeply regret my actions. I take full responsibility and I would urge everyone not to make the same mistakes that I have, and do all they can to help limit the spread of Covid-19.'

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In a statement tonight Ms Ferrier said: 'I apologise unreservedly for breaching Covid-19 restrictions by travelling this week when I shouldn't have. There is no excuse for my actions.

'On Saturday afternoon, after experiencing mild symptoms, I requested a Covid-19 test which I took that day. Feeling much better, I then travelled to London by train on Monday to attend Parliament as planned. This was wrong, and I am very sorry for my mistake.  

'On Monday evening I received a positive test result for Covid-19. I travelled home by train on Tuesday morning without seeking advice. This was also wrong and I am sorry. I have been self-isolating at home ever since.

'I have used Test and Protect and I have notified the House of Commons authorities who have spoken with Public Health England. I have also notified the police of my actions.

'Despite feeling well, I should have self-isolated while waiting for my test result, and I deeply regret my actions. I take full responsibility and I would urge everyone not to make the same mistakes that I have, and do all they can to help limit the spread of Covid-19.' 

Scottish First Minister Ms Sturgeon scolded her colleague's actions and said they laughed in the face of people making sacrifices to their daily lives.

Unequivocally condemning Ms Ferrier, she tweeted: 'This is utterly indefensible. It's hard to express just how angry I feel on behalf of people across the country making hard sacrifices every day to help beat COVID. 

'The rules apply to everyone and they're in place to keep people safe. Ian Blackford is right to suspend the whip.'

SNP Westminster leader Mr Blackford tonight said: I have spoken with Margaret Ferrier this evening who fully accepts that what she did was wrong. 

'Margaret will be referring herself to the parliamentary standards commissioner as well as the police. I am tonight suspending the whip from Margaret.'   

Ms Ferrier was among the critics who lampooned Dominic Cummings (pictured giving a press conference in the No10 Rose Gardn in May) for allegedly flouting lockdown rules

Ms Ferrier was among the critics who lampooned Dominic Cummings (pictured giving a press conference in the No10 Rose Gardn in May) for allegedly flouting lockdown rules

Margaret Ferrier

With Nicola Sturgeon

Margaret Ferrier said she was 'very sorry' for travelling from her Rutherglen seat to attend the Commons.

Politicians of all stripes tonight lined up to scold Ms Ferrier, who was accused of hypocrisy after bearing down hard on Mr Cummings in May

Margaret Ferrier: Comeback MP who won her old seat off Labour in 2019 - only to be suspended less than a year later for Covid-19 train journey 

Margaret Ferrier, 60, is MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, in central Scotland.

As an SNP candidate, she won the seat in 2015 in the party's landslide on the back of the 2014 Independence referendum.

She was almost instantly made a party spokesperson on Scotland and was elected to the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee. 

However she was narrowly beaten by Labour in the 2017 General Election.

But in last year's poll she retook the seat. Until tonight, she was the SNP's spokesperson on manufacturing.

Ms Ferrier was born in Glasgow but lived in Spain for several years when she was a child.

In an interview with the Daily Record, she said she had been a member of Scottish Labour in her youth. 

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Politicians of all stripes tonight lined up to scold Ms Ferrier, who was accused of hypocrisy after bearing down hard on Mr Cummings in May.

In June she told the Commons: 'Public health experts have voiced concerns that Dominic Cummings did undermine public trust in lockdown rules, going against the principle of integrity that is in the code of conduct. 

'Will the Cabinet Office conduct an investigation into potential breaches of the code of conduct by Mr Cummings, or have Ministers yet again decided that they have had enough of experts?'  

Labour shadow minister Wes Streeting said: 'She was right about Dominic Cummings. Will she now hold herself to her own high standards or to his low standards? 

'And which standards will Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP hold her to?'    

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said: 'Margaret, all the issues surrounding transmission of £COVID19 how infectious it is, how much pain and suffering it has caused to so many.

'You are an elected member of parliament making laws to protect citizens from Covid, it wasn't one mistake but multiple ones. So disappointing.'

Labour's Ian Murray weighed in behind his deputy and said: 'This is astonishing recklessness from an SNP MP, which has put people's health at risk.

'Through her irresponsible actions, she very possibly has passed on the virus to a vulnerable person, who may now have COVID-19 and be in danger. She has put passengers, rail staff, fellow MPs, Commons staff and many others at unacceptable risk.

'To breach the rules twice is simply unforgivable, and has undermined all the sacrifices made by her constituents. 

Tory MP Alicia Kearns said it was 'unforgivable' Ms Ferrier waited three days to tell MPs she had tested positive for the virus.

She tweeted: 'The number of people who have been put at risk, MPs and staff in Parliament and their families, and all those on public transport, and those who everyone has since engaged with. It's utterly shameful, and to wait three more days to tell anyone is unforgivable.' 

A House of Commons spokeswoman tonight said: 'The House's priority is to ensure that those on the estate are safe while business is facilitated. 

'We have closely followed public health guidance on the action to take following a confirmed case of COVID on site. Parliament has a dedicated team to support the test and trace teams across the UK, acting as a central point of contact in the event of any suspected or confirmed cases, where an individual has been working on the Estate.

'We are also implementing a number of cleaning measures to ensure those working on the Estate can maintain a clean and hygienic working environment and ensuring Parliament adheres to the Government's ''Working safely during coronavirus'' guidance. 

'Our risk assessment outlines the measures we have already put in place to reduce the risk of transmission in Parliament. The Speakers and political leadership of both Houses are keeping the situation under constant review.' 

Jeremy Corbyn was at dinner with eight people to honour friend who founded Occupy Wall Street after he died four weeks ago - as ex-Labour leader refuses to reveal if he got £200 fine for Rule of Six breach

By Dan Sales for MailOnline 

Jeremy Corbyn broke the 'Rule of Six' at a dinner held to remember the late Occupy Wall Street organiser David Graeber.

The former Labour leader, 71 and his wife Laura Alvarez, 51, joined his widow, the artist Nika Dubrovsky, for the London meal.

Mr Graeber, 59, died suddenly early last month in Venice and had been widely credited with helping to organise Occupy and its 'We are the 99%' slogan.  

A picture that emerged of the gathering prompted Corbyn to apologise for breaking coronavirus restrictions on the number of people meeting in a household.

The former Labour leader had paid tribute to him in a special last month and explained how he had become such good friends.

Corbyn said: ‘He was a very organised anarchist. What David saw was anarchism as empowerment of people.

‘David became a very trenchant defender and supporter of us and I will be forever grateful to him for that.

‘I was talking to Nika last night, his widow, and they were discussing performance as a lecturer. Apparently unprecedented numbers of students wanted to come to his lectures.’

Corbyn's spokesman and the Labour Party have refused to answer whether Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan's comments this morning that he had been fined were correct. 

The former Labour leader, 71, (circled left) and his wife Laura Alvarez, 51, (circled middle) seated with Mr Graeber's widow Nika Dubrovsky (circled middle) at the dinner

The former Labour leader, 71, (circled left) and his wife Laura Alvarez, 51, (circled middle) seated with Mr Graeber's widow Nika Dubrovsky (circled middle) at the dinner

David Graeber was professor of anthropology at LSE and also founded Occupy Wall Street

David Graeber was professor of anthropology at LSE and also founded Occupy Wall Street

It came after Boris Johnson's father Stanley apologised after he was seen breaking rules on wearing masks in shops. 

Dr Allin-Khan said this morning: 'Nobody is exempt and Jeremy Corbyn rightly apologised, it was wrong for him to be at a dinner party with that many people.

'My understanding is that more and more people arrived and when it got over six he should have left.

'He’s been fined, that’s the right course of action and he’s apologised and that’s really important.

On his bike: Jeremy Corbyn takes his bicycle from his house in north London for a ride

On his bike: Jeremy Corbyn takes his bicycle from his house in north London for a ride

David Graeber: anarchy and anthropology

David Graeber was a professor of anthropology at Yale University but is most famous for his activism.

He worked on the initial stages of the Occupy Wall Street movement which saw crowds mass by the buildings to stop them functioning in a protest against economic inequality.

Mr Graeber was also a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics.

He was born in New York before moving to London and was married to artist Nika Dubrovsky.

 He said in 2015: 'Huge swaths of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they believe to be unnecessary.

'The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul.

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