Margaret Ferrier, a UK lawmaker, is facing calls to quit over breaking COVID-19 restrictions. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News Archives

London: A UK lawmaker is facing calls to quit after admitting she broke self-isolation rules to attend Parliament in London this week while waiting for the result of a coronavirus test, which later came back positive.

“It’s utterly inexcusable,” said David Linden, an MP for the Scottish National Party, commenting on the actions of Margaret Ferrier, who also breached regulations by taking the train home to Scotland after testing positive for the virus. “I don’t think her position is tenable and she should resign,” he said on BBC “Question Time” on Thursday.

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Ferrier, the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West near Glasgow, apologised “unreservedly” for her actions in a statement, saying she had contacted the police and the House of Commons authorities. Her conduct was also criticised by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said it was “utterly indefensible” and “the rules apply to everyone” .

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in the House of Commons, said he had suspended the party whip from Ferrier and that she will be referring herself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Ferrier said she took a COVID-19 test Saturday after suffering from mild symptoms, but instead of self-isolating, she travelled to London by train Monday to attend Parliament. Having received her positive test result that day, she travelled home by train Tuesday.

The UK has imposed strict quarantine regulations on people who test positive for coronavirus and Sturgeon, an SNP colleague, has been outspoken in her calls that everyone should be subject to the rules. In April, Scotland’s chief medical officer was forced out of her job after she broke lockdown rules to visit a holiday home.

Under pandemic regulations in England, fines for breaking self-isolation start at 1,000 pounds ($1,290), increasing to 10,000 pounds for repeat offenders.