Margaret Ferrier, a Scottish politician, represented Rutherglen and Hamilton West in the House of Commons from 2015 until August 1, 2023, when she served as the Member of Parliament. Initially elected as the Scottish National Party candidate in the 2015 general election, she held the seat until her tenure ended in 2023.
Age- 63 years
Birth Date- 10 September 1960
Birthplace- Glasgow, United Kingdom
Education-Holyrood Secondary School
Office-Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom since 2019
Previous Office- Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom (2015–2017)
Born on September 10, 1960, Margaret Ferrier grew up in Glasgow’s King’s Park district and attended Holyrood Secondary School. Her family lived in Mallorca for two years before settling in Rutherglen from 1972 to 1990, and later in Darnley. From 2000 onward, she has been residing in the Halfway district of Cambuslang. In 2011, she joined the Rutherglen branch of the SNP, although she had been a member of Scottish Labour during her youth.
Margaret Ferrier is quite private about her personal life, and as a result, there is no available information about her marital status or specific details about her personal life.
Ferrier have one daughter. Ferrier resides in Halfway, South Lanarkshire, along with her daughter.
Prior to her successful election to Westminster, Margaret Ferrier had previously been a defeated candidate for the Rutherglen South ward of South Lanarkshire Council in a 2013 by-election. The seat was won by Ged Killen of Scottish Labour on that occasion.
She became the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rutherglen and Hamilton West after winning the seat in the 2015 United Kingdom general election. She secured 30,279 votes, representing 52% of the total cast and a significant 31% swing from the previous incumbent and their party. Her victory marked the first time a female MP, and the first from the SNP, was elected in the Rutherglen/Cambuslang portion of the constituency or its predecessor. However, in the June 2017 election, Ferrier narrowly lost the seat to Ged Killen by a mere 265 votes. She later stood as a candidate in the European Union elections in May 2019.
In the 2019 Election, she was again selected as the SNP candidate for the seat and managed to defeat Ged Killen on a 5% swing, obtaining a majority of 5,240 votes or 9.7%.
Breaches of COVID-19 Regulations
In October 2020, Ferrier faced severe controversy and backlash for breaching COVID-19 regulations. She publicly apologized for her actions, which involved taking a train to London after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, speaking in a parliamentary debate while awaiting test results, and subsequently testing positive for the virus. She was suspended from the SNP and lost the party whip but retained her seat as an independent MP. Ferrier faced criticism from various quarters, including SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and media outlets.
Following the scandal, her Rutherglen constituency association called for her resignation, which she declined to do. The Metropolitan Police decided not to take further action on the matter.
Ferrier’s appearance in the Commons after the incident was met with criticism from Scottish Labour’s then-leader, Richard Leonard, who accused her of gross selfishness and initiated a petition for her resignation from Parliament.
On January 4, 2021, Ferrier was arrested and charged with “culpable and reckless conduct” by Police Scotland. She pleaded guilty to the charge in August 2022 and was sentenced to 270 hours of community service in September of the same year.
The Commons Select Committee on Standards recommended her suspension from Parliament for 30 days on March 30, 2023. The House of Commons upheld this recommendation on May 22, 2023, leading to a recall petition.
Margaret Ferrier’s estimated net worth in 2024 is $6.2 million.
Constituents Vote Out Margaret Ferrier, Triggering Byelection
A byelection is scheduled for Rutherglen and Hamilton West after constituents voted to remove MP Margaret Ferrier, who broke Covid travel rules, from her seat. The recall petition, which lasted six weeks, was triggered when Ferrier, formerly a member of the Scottish National Party and now an independent, was suspended from the Commons for 30 days due to her travel rule-breaking conviction during lockdown.
Over 10% of eligible voters signed the petition, totaling 11,896 out of 81,124 (15%) eligible constituents, leading to the byelection contest. Scottish Labour and the SNP view this byelection as a crucial test before the upcoming general election.
Once the Commons reconvenes in early September after the summer recess, the SNP will be responsible for moving the writ to set the byelection date. Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, Jackie Baillie, and Rutherglen campaign coordinator advocate for the byelection to be held as soon as possible, suggesting the date of 5 October, the earliest possible date after the Commons returns.
Ferrier confirmed that she will not stand in the byelection, respecting the outcome of the petition process. The seat has been hotly contested between Labour and the SNP in recent elections, making this a significant indicator of the changing political landscape in Scotland following Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation in February.
Recent polls show a decline in the SNP’s dominance, as the party faces challenges concerning transparency and governance linked to a police investigation into its financial conduct. In contrast, Labour appears to be benefiting from the situation. Moreover, with no clear path to a second independence referendum and the public’s concerns about the cost of living, Scottish voters seem less inclined to base their party support on constitutional preferences.