THE SNP’s candidate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West is encouraging people in the area to sign the recall petition to remove MP Margaret Ferrier and trigger a by-election.

The recall petition is now live with signing stations across the South Lanarkshire constituency open for six weeks from this morning.

If more than 10% of voters add their names to the petition, either in person or by postal vote, Ferrier will automatically lose her seat.

The process was triggered after MPs backed a 30 day suspension from the Commons for the MP after her pandemic rule breaches and subsequent criminal conviction.

Katy Loudon, the SNP candidate in the potential by-election, has said it is the first step in the road to the area electing a "strong SNP voice at Westminster".

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Loudon said: “Constituents in Rutherglen and Hamilton West have the opportunity to hold a by-election and elect and SNP MP who will stand up for them against this rotten Tory government. The first step in that process will be to sign the recall petition.

“In the face of Tory economic incompetence and a Labour party looking more and more like a Tory tribute act the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West need a strong SNP voice to stand up for them.

“The petition must be signed in person and those signing it must present valid ID, therefore I am encouraging anyone who wishes to sign it to check their nearest point to add their signature.

“I look forward to encouraging constituents to sign the petition and reach the 10% threshold we need for a by-election to be called and allow the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West to elect an SNP MP.”

Ferrier was found guilty of culpable and reckless conduct at Glasgow Sheriff Court in August 2022 after she admitted travelling on a train in September 2020 despite knowing she had Covid.

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The MP also spoke in the Commons and visited a number of locations in her seat, including a mass in St Mungo’s church and a bar in Prestwick while waiting on the results of a Covid test.

After the positive result came through, she lied to colleagues and said she had to go home to visit a sick relative.

Ferrier posted a statement on her website on Monday, urging constituents not to sign Scotland’s first recall petition when it opens as many voters had told her that they did not want a by-election.

Ferrier said her record of work for her constituents spoke for itself.

She wrote: “As an independent MP, my constituents are my top priority and always have been.

“The most important thing is that they are able to access the right support when they need it and can be confident that their views are represented. My record speaks for itself in this respect.

“I do not have any desire or need to play into party politics, which inevitably distracts from constituency issues and the needs of local residents.

“While parties have already spent months arguing about their candidates for a by-election that has not even been confirmed, they have disregarded the very real issues faced by many in our community.

“That is why so many constituents have expressed to me that they do not want a by-election."