CORRESPONDENCE disclosed by the Scottish Government reveals how members of the public pressed Nicola Sturgeon to sack Margaret Ferrier over her Covid travel breach.

Voters in England were amongst those to email the First Minister after it emerged that Ferrier, then one of her party’s MPs, had travelled to London and back after developing Covid symptoms.

Her journey to parliament happened after she’d developed symptoms and the return leg occurred after a positive diagnosis had been passed along.

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The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP has since lost the SNP whip, with Sturgeon calling her behaviour “utterly indefensible”, but says she wants to continue to serve the constituents who elected her, telling the Sun on Sunday she’d “panicked” on getting the test result and felt she’d no option but to go home, given that she has no flat in London.

She told the paper: “It may be a serious error of judgment. I’m not denying that. People may be saying, ‘you should have known better, you’re a public figure’.

“But at the end of the day it still hurts. You then think, ‘is all that hard work and dedication just wiped away?’”

Emails to Nicola Sturgeon’s office – published online under Freedom of Information legislation this week– show the strength of public feeling after the news emerged. One writer asked the FM, who has nothing to do with MPs’ remuneration, how much Ferrier had been “paid ... to speak in parliament”. Another, copied to Downing Street, described Ferrier’s conduct as “astonishing recklessness”.

A third, claiming to be a London solicitor, said: “I have never in my life either written to or contacted an MP but I simply had to do this ... She is a complete and utter hypocrite and put other people’s lives in jeopardy without any care or thought.”

The papers also show how some writers referred to Ferrier as an MSP and called on the SNP leader to “ensure she is fined £10,000”.

Another, who’d spent time in a high dependency ward after catching Covid, said: “To see what Margaret Ferrier has done has genuinely made me feel quite sick, to have symptoms and to have been tested but to go on public transport to London, all the people she’s put at risk. I can’t even describe in words how sickening, selfish and horrible that is ... how dare she do that.”

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The Sunday National approached Ferrier for comment for this article.

The papers also reveal confusion at train firm Avanti West Coast, which asked Holyrood which agency passengers with infection worries should turn to.

National clinical director Jason Leitch confirmed Scotland’s Test and Protect and England’s Test and Trace would contact the operator after one Avanti employee wrote: “Ms Ferrier’s occupation is of no interest or relevance to us.

"The reason we are approaching yourselves is because we have been informed by the Speaker’s Office that NHS Scotland is dealing directly with this so we want to ensure we give out the appropriate information to staff members or members of the public who are concerned about whether they have come into contact with Ms Ferrier.”