Humza Yousaf backs Scottish by-election to replace MP Margaret Ferrier, but concedes 'hard work' for SNP to win
The First Minister and SNP leader said he believed there should be a by-election in her Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency. That came after a Commons committee recommended on Thursday that Ms Ferrier is suspended from the House for 30 days for her coronavirus rule-breaking, after she travelled by train while knowing she was infected with Covid-19 in 2020.
This could trigger a by-election in her seat if enough constituents vote for one in a recall petition.
Mr Yousaf was asked about her suspension shortly after taking part in his debut First Minister’s Questions session at Holyrood as head of the Scottish Government. He told journalists: “We’ve said from day one that Margaret Ferrier should have stepped down because of her reckless action.
“I look forward to fighting that by-election on our strong track record.”
Asked how confident of winning he is, Mr Yousaf said: “We’ll take nothing for granted, we won’t be complacent. We’ve got strong support in Rutherglen and right across that region.
“But it will take hard work. I think the right thing for Margaret Ferrier to do would be to stand down.”
The length of Ms Ferrier’s suspension is correct, he said, promising to campaign in Rutherglen and Hamilton West if a by-election takes place. He was also asked about the make-up of his new Cabinet, which does not include his leadership rivals Kate Forbes or Ash Regan.
Mr Yousaf noted that Siobhian Brown, a supporter of Ms Forbes, is now a junior minister. He said: “There is no team Kate, there is no team Ash, there’s no team Humza.
“We’re at our strongest as a party when we unite and that’s the only way we’ll deliver independence.”
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