MARGARET Ferrier is again expected to be suspended from the House of Commons for 30 days on Tuesday with MPs set to vote on whether to approve the punishment.

The first vote, scheduled for May 25, was cancelled by the UK Government at the last minute. It had been due to take place just before recess, and reports suggested the decision had come because there were not enough MPs in the chamber.

But speculation elsewhere claimed that some Tory MPs had been plotting to vote against the punishment to avoid setting a precedent, with Boris Johnson looking likely to face a similar process in the near future. 

Now, the vote has been brought to the table for a second time.

Though the exact time is not listed, on Tuesday afternoon parliamentarians will decide whether to approve the recommendation of the Standards Committee to suspend Ferrier for having “knowingly and recklessly exposed members of the public and those on the parliamentary estate to the risk of contracting Covid-19”.

If approved, Ferrier's suspension will begin on Wednesday, June 7.

The MP has already been convicted for travelling from London to Scotland despite having tested positive for the coronavirus. She was handed 270 hours of community service on September 13, 2022.

READ MORE: Labour by-election candidate shielded from media amid claims of 'stitch up'

If MPs do as expected and approve the 30-day suspension from the Commons it will pave the way to a by-election in her Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency.

A total of 10% of her constituents will need to sign a recall petition in order to trigger such a ballot. While that has not happened in Scotland before, Labour will be deploying activists in the area in a bid to get the required numbers in the six-week window.

People will not be able to add their names to the petition online, but will have to attend signing stations set up across the area by the Petitions Officer in South Lanarkshire.

Party’s are allowed to spend up to £10,000 on the petition, and Labour have said they will be spending up to the limit.

While the SNP have yet to announce who they will stand in the by-election, Labour have nominated Michael Shanks, who has previously failed in bids to win a seat for the party at Holyrood in the Glasgow Kelvin area and at Westminster in Glasgow North West.

There have been allegations of a “stitch-up” in the area, with Shanks – seen as the leadership’s favourite – having been picked over popular local councillors.

The by-election will be a test for both Labour and the SNP, with polls suggesting that Keir Starmer’s party are gaining ground they are widely expected to win the seat.

There had been suggestions that Conservatives may look to reduce Ferrier’s suspension to nine days, below the 10-day threshold at which a recall petition is triggered, in an effort to avoid setting a precedent ahead of any punishment which former prime minister Boris Johnson may be recommended by the Standards Committee.

Allan Dorans, the SNP MP on the committee, had also backed a nine-day suspension.

Ferrier, then an SNP MP, developed Covid symptoms on September 26, 2020 – a Saturday – and took a test, but still went to church and had lunch with a family member the following day.

On the Monday, while awaiting the result of the test, she travelled by train to London, took part in a Commons debate and ate in the Members’ Tearoom in Parliament.

That evening she received a text telling her the test was positive. But instead of isolating, she travelled back to Scotland by train the following morning.

READ MORE: BBC presenter called out for 'unbelievable' Margaret Ferrier error

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Daniel Greenberg said Ferrier had breached the code of conduct for MPs “by placing her own personal interest of not wishing to self-isolate immediately or in London over the public interest of avoiding possible risk of harm to health and life”.

She also breached the code because “her actions commencing from when she first took a Covid-19 test to when she finally begins self-isolation have caused significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, and of its members generally”.

The Commons Standards Committee found she “acted dishonestly” by misleading the SNP’s chief whip, and added: “Ms Ferrier’s actions knowingly and recklessly exposed members of the public and those on the parliamentary estate to the risk of contracting Covid-19 and demonstrated a disregard for the parliamentary and national guidance in place.”