PARLIAMENTARY officials have been asked if they should make guidelines "idiot-proof" following claims by shamed MP Margaret Ferrier. 

Douglas Ross, Scottish Conservatives leader and MP for Moray, asked the House of Commons Clerk if the rules for MPs around coronavirus should be made clearer.

The MP for Moray asked if the House of Commons Clerk, Dr John Benger, thought the rules for politicians were easy enough to follow, and if Ms Ferrier did follow the guidelines in her case.

HeraldScotland: Undated handout file photo of Conservative MP Douglas Ross who has apologised for saying his priority as prime minister would be to bring in ''tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers''. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday Augu

It comes after Ms Ferrier claimed she had abided by the guidelines when she travelled back to Glasgow from London on a train, while knowingly positive for coronavirus.

Mr Benger, speaking during the Westminster Procedure committee today, said: "I can't comment on the Margaret Ferrier case for obvious reasons.

"What I would say is that we have a helpline and if anyone's in any doubt at all, they can ring the helpline and get advice, very rapidly on what guidance should be followed."

Mr Ross asked: "Given that this person who remains a member of parliament, is saying they followed the rules correctly, do you think it needs to be clarified further, that guidance, almost to make it idiot-proof if some people are using this guidance as a defence for their reckless and dangerous actions?"

Mr Benger said he would not expect anyone to "pore over" a detailed 38-page document, but "if anyone had any uncertainty about what they were supposed to do in the event that they were tested, or had come into contact with someone who is self isolating, we have helplines available for that."

Following the exchange, Mr Ross told The Herald: "Margaret Ferrier’s actions have been selfish and incredibly stupid.

"If she really believes she followed the rules, then more work might need to be done to make them completely idiot-proof.

"Her reckless actions endangered the public and she should resign as an MP.” 

Read more:  Shamed MP Margaret Ferrier 'hung out to dry' by SNP

Lib Dem MP Jamie Stone today suggested that Parliament introduce legislation that will make it easier for MPs to be removed from their seat. 

Speaking to Times Radio this evening, Mr Stone said: “She should go and go now.

"There's a loophole here. There has to be a better mechanism for her actually going. We all make mistakes, yes we do, but this one is too big a mistake. We will have to take a look at this in Westminster and see if we can tweak the legislation because we cannot allow this sort of thing to happen in the future... There has got to be a quicker mechanism.

Responding to Ms Ferrier's defence that she didn't want to self-isolate in a hotel room for two weeks, Mr Stone said: "Gosh, what a hardship to have to spend two weeks in a hotel!

"They put the food outside your door. You'll be looked after. So that one doesn't stack up."

Read more: Labour: SNP 'colluded with Margaret Ferrier' to mitigate crisis

He later added: "Whether it's Dominic Cummings, Stanley Johnson or Margaret Ferrier - my position will remain the same: anyone in a position of power has a duty to do the right thing.

"Getting through this pandemic requires public trust but that's continuously being eroded, which is a disaster for democracy. 

"We desperately need stronger mechanisms to boot MPs guilty of undermining public trust - and we also need mechanisms for outing unaccountable bureaucrats like Mr Cummings.

"We all make mistakes - I'll be the first to admit I've made many! - but it's no wonder people do not trust politicians when we say one thing and do another."