A SCOTTISH Labour MSP has deleted a social media post amid concerns it may have breached electoral law.

Monica Lennon, who represents the Central Scotland region at Holyrood, had put out a tweet in relation to the ongoing recall petition in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, where incumbent MP Margaret Ferrier has been suspended from the Commons for breaking Covid rules.

But the post was deleted after concerns it breached the law. An SNP source told this paper it was a sign of “the kind of incompetence the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West could do without”.

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The recall petition opened on June 20, and will trigger a by-election if 10% of Ferrier’s constituents (around 8100 people) sign before it closes on July 31.

When the petition opened, strict restrictions on what can and cannot be reported came into effect.

Guidance released by the Electoral Commission states: “Electoral law prevents the publication of any statement that could indicate if an individual has signed the petition or not … Anyone who makes any statement on turnout or about individuals who sign the petition would be guilty of an offence.”

It is understood that the regulation in question is number 124 of the Recall of MPs Act 2015 (Recall Petition) Regulations 2016.

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This states: “A person must not, before the end of the last day of the signing period for a petition, publish … any statement relating to whether any person has signed the petition.”

It further states that anyone found to be in breach of this rule is “liable on summary conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months”.

Lennon’s Twitter post – which The National cannot quote for risk of falling foul of the same electoral law – was deleted after concerns were raised that it was in breach of these regulations.

Scottish Labour have been made aware by this paper of further instances where members of the party may also have risked breaching the law. At the time of writing, they had not been deleted.

An SNP source told The National: "This is the kind of incompetence the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West could do without and why they should elect a strong SNP MP voice to stand up to this rotten Tory government."

Ferrier’s recall petition is only the fourth to be run since they were created by the 2015 Recall of MPs Act.

The first was run in the Northern Irish constituency of North Antrim in 2018, with DUP MP Ian Paisley facing a possible by-election.

Paisley survived the process, but two opposition politicians – Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan and TUV councillor Timothy Gaston – were reported to the police over alleged breaches of the electoral law.

Scottish Labour was approached for comment.