Former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier set to face trial in August after admitting to not reporting Parliament visit

An MP who is accused of putting people at risk by travelling between Glasgow and London by train with coronavirus symptoms did not tell NHS Test and Protect officials she went into Parliament, a court has heard.

Margaret Ferrier is accused of wilfully exposing people “to the risk of infection, illness and death” by visiting various places in the Glasgow area and London, having been told to self-isolate in late September 2020.

Ferrier, who was elected as an SNP MP, but now sits as an independent MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, did not attend the hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday, but Sheriff Andrew Cubie confirmed the trial would go ahead on August 15.

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Ex-SNP MP Margaret Ferrier
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During the 11-minute hearing on Tuesday, the court was told by fiscal depute Mark Allan the charge would be amended to add that she failed “to disclose to representatives of Test and Protect national contact tracing centre NHS Scotland that you entered the Houses of Parliament in London on September 28, 2020”.

Prosecutors allege that having booked a test for Covid-19, the 61-year-old “culpably and recklessly” put people at risk by visiting places including Lifestyle Leisure Centre, Vanilla Salon, gift shop Sweet P Boutique in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, St Mungo’s Church in Glasgow, and Vic’s Bar in Prestwick, South Ayrshire.

Ferrier, of Cambuslang, is said to have taken a taxi from Cambuslang to Glasgow Central Station. From there she is accused of travelling on the train to London Euston and back.

Ferrier is also accused of visiting the Houses of Parliament in the UK capital, along with other places unknown to prosecutors.

It is alleged that having booked a test for Covid-19, stating in the booking application she was suffering symptoms of the disease, and having been told to self-isolate, she put people at risk between September 26 and 29, 2020 by travelling throughout Glasgow and the surrounding areas, and travelling between Glasgow and London.

The monkeypox outbreak had delayed a defence report from an expert virologist in her trial, but her lawyer Neal McShane said that had now been received at five minutes to midnight on Monday.

Mr Allan told the court the trial would last around ten days.

Ferrier had the SNP whip removed in 2020 after the allegations emerged.