Boris Johnson should get same punishment as Margaret Ferrier over Covid lockdown breaches – Vladimir McTavish
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She was banned from the Commons for 30 days for her breach of Covid rules in September 2020. Stripped of the party whip at the time of the incident, she now sits as an independent. Her suspension could now potentially trigger a by-election in her constituency.
If you remember, she tested positive for Covid while in London but, instead of self-isolating, decided to travel back to Glasgow in complete breach of all the laws in place at the time. Despite this being a somewhat tricky time for the SNP to defend a somewhat marginal seat, Humza Yousuf has called on Ferrier to resign and said he would look forward to fighting the by-election.
So far, all straightforward and uncontroversial. It will be interesting, however, to see what judgment MPs reach on another case of Covid rules breaches, namely that of former PM Boris Johnson. Remember him? The man who described parties during lockdown as “work events”. The man who was brought down by his own MPs because of his untrustworthy behaviour.
Johnson stands accused of breaching Covid regulations and of repeatedly lying to Parliament. Will the committee have the backbone to hand out a similar ban to him? Margaret Ferrier may have acted stupidly and recklessly. But she was not the person who set the rules.
Boris Johnson was the person who made those laws, and he has already been fined for breaking those rules. MPs ought to take as tough a line with the ex-Prime Minister as they have done with a relatively unimportant backbencher disowned by her own party.
So what would happen in a by-election in Johnson’s Uxbridge constituency? What was a safe Tory seat in 2019 would probably now be extremely marginal due to his blundering, dishonesty and disregard for the laws that he passed. Will the privileges committee, which is considering evidence that Johnson misled parliament, pass a similar judgment on him? Will they have the guts to do what the standards committee did to Margaret Ferrier? If not, each and every one of the members should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror. Will they? Watch this space.