The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has expressed “disappointment” following reports disgraced SNP MP Margaret Ferrier attended a service the day after she tested positive for coronavirus.
Ms Ferrier has faced calls to resign as a member of parliament and could be expelled from her party after revealing she travelled to London and spoke in the House of Commons while awaiting the results of the test.
The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP then returned by train to Scotland days after finding out she had tested positive, possibly putting fellow passengers in danger.
The Chancellor's replacements for the furlough and self-employed income support schemes provide much less support to struggling firms, leaving them with the awful choice of closure or mass redundancies. Full speech: https://t.co/juI6nPaptD pic.twitter.com/HWkNSzt6TX
— Margaret Ferrier MP (@MargaretFerrier) September 29, 2020
The Daily Record reported on Tuesday that Ms Ferrier attended a mass at St Mungo’s Church in Townhead, Glasgow, on September 27, the day after she took the test. She is reported to have given a Bible reading from the altar.
The MP’s social media posts show she also visited a gift shop, beauty salon and a leisure centre in her constituency on the day she developed symptoms and took the test.
The Metropolitan police are investigating her movements but Police Scotland is thought not to be considering any action because self-isolation remains guidance rather than a legal requirement in Scotland.
The Catholic Church said it could not confirm whether Ms Ferrier, or anyone else, attended the Mass due to data protection laws.
But a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow said: “For the good of the whole community, it is important that anyone who is required to self-isolate does so in accordance with the government’s guidance, so anyone in that situation should not attend Mass.
“It is disappointing if this has not happened but we would like to reassure people that we fulfil all the government and church guidelines.”
St Mungo’s website states those who are shielding, self-isolating or feel unwell should not not attend. All parishioners must also wear a face covering.
Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon called on the SNP to terminate the £81,932-a-year MP’s membership of the party and for Ms Ferrier to resign.
“Not even a place of worship was safe from this MP’s selfish and dangerous actions,” Ms Lennon said.
“There is no end to Margaret Ferrier’s recklessness. The SNP must terminate her membership and resign her seat.”
Ms Ferrier said in a statement that she had travelled to London before getting the results of the test because she was “feeling much better”, and later tweeted a video of her four-minute speech during a coronavirus debate.
She was told later that evening she had tested positive but took a train back to Scotland three days later and did not tell SNP officials about her positive test until the next day.
— Margaret Ferrier MP (@MargaretFerrier) October 1, 2020
It is understood she initially told the party she was returning home because a family member had become unwell.
Ms Ferrier said she “deeply regretted” her actions but has not yet given any indication of whether she intents to continue in her job as an MP, despite first minister Nicola Sturgeon telling her she should go.
Ms Sturgeon described the decision to travel to and from London as the “worst breach imaginable” and said she had made it “crystal clear” to Ms Ferrier that her “reckless, dangerous and completely indefensible” actions meant she should resign as an MP.
Speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon said she was unable to comment on whether the latest revelations should result in Ms Ferrier being expelled from the SNP because it could jeopardise “due process”.