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Scottish Labour to select by-election candidate for rule-breaking MP's seat

The party turns up the pressure on Margaret Ferrier to resign

SCOTTISH LABOUR turned up the pressure on rule-breaking MP Margaret Ferrier today by announcing that the party will soon select a by-election candidate. 

A  candidate for the Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat could be in place “within weeks” as the process for selecting a challenger starts in the coming days, the party said.

While experiencing coronavirus symptoms in September, Ms Ferrier travelled to Westminster despite being required to self-isolate, and then returned to Scotland by train after testing positive.

The SNP has withdrawn the whip from the MP, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging her to resign.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said constituents “deserve better than a lame duck MP.”

He added: “Margaret Ferrier has let down the people of this constituency and has forfeited her right to represent them in Parliament, by flouting the laws on Covid that we all have to follow. 

“Rutherglen and Hamilton West deserves an MP whose priority is to fight to protect workers’ jobs and incomes, that are facing such a severe threat from Covid, rather than focusing on preserving a parliamentary salary and Westminster perks.”

Former Scottish Labour MP Ged Killen, who lost his seat to Ms Ferrier in December, announced on Sunday he intends to run again if a by-election is held. 

For a by-election to take place, the MP would need to quit or be forced out through a recall petition backed by 10 per cent of constituents. 

Mr Killen said: “People in Rutherglen and Hamilton West deserve representation they can trust. Being the MP for my home constituency was the privilege of my life and I stand ready for any opportunity to get back out there fighting for our communities.”

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