MPs look set to vote on Margaret Ferrier's 30-day suspension this afternoon, paving the way for Scotland's first recall petition and a possible by-election in her Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency.

The vote was supposed to take place last month but was pulled by the UK Government at the last minute.

There was speculation on social media and from other MPs at the time that some Conservatives were preparing to vote against the ban because they fear it could set a precedent if Boris Johnson is sanctioned for misleading parliament. 

However, other reports suggested it was simply because there were not enough MPs in the Chamber. 

Erskine May, the guide to parliamentary procedure, states the House can only be quorate if 35 MPs are able to vote in a division.

READ MORE: Shock as vote to suspend Margaret Ferrier delayed until June

The vote on Ms Ferrier's fate comes as Labour ramps up campaigning in the seat.

Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds will join Anas Sarwar to meet with firms in the South Lanarkshire constituency. 

The Herald: Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said Labour wants to ‘involve as many people as possible in our democracy’ (Belinda Jiao/PA)

They remain the only party to have selected a candidate. Modern Studies teacher Michael Shanks has been knocking doors in the seat for some weeks now. 

The SNP has reportedly struggled with the quality of their Westminster hopefuls. Local members should have picked a candidate nearly a month ago.   

However, Humza Yousaf is said to have rejected that initial shortlist.

On May 23, our sister title, The National, reported that three names had gone forward to members.

Nearly two weeks later and the party's press office is refusing to say if there is a candidate.

READ MORE: Ex SNP MP Margaret Ferrier guilty of breaking Covid laws


Ms Ferrier's lengthy punishment was recommended because of her rule breaches at the height of lockdown.

Her appeal was knocked back, with the Independent Expert Panel saying the former SNP politician had “acted with blatant and deliberate dishonest intent.”

They said she had also “acted with a high degree of recklessness to the public and to colleagues” and "acted selfishly, putting her own interests above the public interest.”

If MPs back the sanction, the Speaker will then notify the Petitions Officer in South Lanarkshire, who will then, in ten working days, open a recall petition with signing stations opening across the constituency.

If, over the course of six weeks, 10 per cent of her constituents add their names to the petition, Ms Ferrier will lose her job, triggering a by-election.

The SNP has confirmed that they will officially campaign for voters to sign the petition. 

Under the Recall Act 2015, parties, organisations and individuals can register with the Petitions Officer and spend up to £10,000 on the petition. 

The recall petition could be avoided if Ms Ferrier chooses to resign instead. 

READ MORE: Margaret Ferrier: SNP MP calls for former colleague to stand down

Ms Ferrier was found guilty of culpable and reckless conduct at Glasgow Sheriff Court last August after she admitted travelling on a train in September 2020 despite knowing she had Covid. 

The MP also spoke in the House of Commons and visited a number of locations in Glasgow, including a mass in Mungo’s church and a bar in Prestwick, Ayrshire, while waiting on the results of a Covid test.

After the positive result came through, she lied to colleagues and said she had to go home to visit a sick relative. 

She was ordered to carry out 270 hours of community service after pleading guilty to wilfully exposing people “to the risk of infection, illness and death”.