COMMENT: Covid-19: One rule for politicians – and another for the British public

The fallout from Scottish MP Margaret Ferrier’s admission she travelled after testing positive for Coronavirus clearly shows the double standards at play when it comes to breaking the Covid-19 rules. 

Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Ferrier travelled via public transport between Glasgow and London, both while waiting for and after receiving a positive Covid-19 test.

As a result, she has had the SNP whip removed, and faced calls to resign. 

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon made her thoughts clear. Sturgeon tweeted: “I’ve spoken to Margaret Ferrier and made my view clear that she should step down as an MP.”

But for all the fuss, Ferrier continues to operate as an MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West  – a clear message to the public that there are no real repercussions for breaking the rules for those  in a position of power. 

Boris Johnson’s political advisor, Dominic Cummings, got off even lighter when he broke the rules.

Cummings travelled between London and Durham and stayed overnight in another household. This occurred in late March when the government had advised everyone to stay at home unless necessary, and not to mix with other households. 

While Sturgeon tried to hold her MP to account, Johnson was willing to make an exception to the rules. A spokesperson for No.10 said: “The Prime Minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances and he regards this issue as closed.”

Tougher penalties for the public

It is a different story for the public, however. 

In May, police figures showed that the police had issued more than 14,000 fines across England and Wales for those found to be breaking Covid-19 regulations.

Moreover, those who fail to self-isolate after being confirmed positive with Covid-19 could land a fine of up to £10,000.

The message seems to be clear: one rule for them, and another for the British public.

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