Margaret Ferrier Unseated: The Recall Petition and the Upcoming By-Election
Margaret Ferrier, the MP who was suspended for breaking Covid lockdown rules, has lost her seat following a vote by her constituents. A by-election will now take place after 11,896 people in Rutherglen and Hamilton West signed a petition to remove her from office. This marks a significant turn in the political career of Margaret Ferrier, who has now been unseated.
The Journey of the Margaret Ferrier Unseated
Ferrier had been serving as an independent MP after being expelled from the SNP in 2020. She had traveled to London and spoke in the Commons while waiting for the result of a Covid test, then took a train home after testing positive.
The petition to remove her was signed by almost 15% of the 81,124 eligible constituents, passing the 10% threshold which triggers a by-election. This led to Margaret Ferrier being unseated.
Following the recall petition, Ferrier confirmed that she would not seek re-election. In a statement, she expressed her respect for the outcome of the petition and her disappointment at the end of her service as the Member of Parliament for Rutherglen & Hamilton West. The process of Margaret Ferrier being unseated has been taxing for her and her constituents.
The Legal Implications
Ferrier was arrested and charged with culpable and reckless conduct in January 2021 and pleaded guilty last August. A month later she was ordered to carry out 270 hours of community service.
The Commons’ standards committee recommended in March that Ferrier should be suspended. A decision which was upheld by an independent expert panel after she lodged an appeal. This further solidified the status of Margaret Ferrier unseated.
With the seat now vacant, a by-election will be set when parliament resumes in September. The SNP and Labour have already begun campaigning in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.
The case of Margaret Ferrier being unseated has sparked a political race that could have UK-wide ramifications.
As a measure of Labour’s prospects under Sir Keir Starmer. It is also an early test of Humza Yousaf’s leadership of the SNP. The story of Margaret Ferrier unseated continues to unfold.