SHAMED MP Margaret Ferrier has urged constituents not to sign Scotland’s first recall petition when it opens tomorrow. 

In a statement posted on her website, the rule-breaking former SNP politician said many voters in the seat had told her that they did not want a by-election. 

Signing stations across the South Lanarkshire constituency will open for six weeks from Tuesday morning. 

If more than 10 per cent of voters add their names to the petition, either in person or by postal vote, Ms Ferrier will automatically lose her seat.

READ MORE: Margaret Ferrier: Scotland's first recall petition to open on June 20

The process was triggered after MPs backed a thirty-day suspension from the Commons for the former commercial sales manager over her pandemic rule breaches and subsequent criminal conviction.

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 Commons and visited a number of locations in her seat, including a mass in St Mungo’s church and a bar in Prestwick 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”.

READ MORE: MPs suspend Margaret Ferrier for Covid rule breach

In her statement, Ms Ferrier said her record of work for her constituents spoke for itself.

She said: “As an independent MP, my constituents are my top priority and always have been.

“The most important thing is that they are able to access the right support when they need it and can be confident that their views are represented. My record speaks for itself in this respect.

“I do not have any desire or need to play into party politics, which inevitably distracts from constituency issues and the needs of local residents. 

“While parties have already spent months arguing about their candidates for a by-election that has not even been confirmed, they have disregarded the very real issues faced by many in our community.

“That is why so many constituents have expressed to me that they do not want a by-election."

The MP said some voters had told her that the instructions provided by the local authority were "unclear."

"If you wish to see me continue as your MP, then do not sign the petition paper," she added.

The statement continued: “It is ultimately up to the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West to decide what happens next – not Westminster, not Holyrood, and certainly not any political party HQs.

“I made a mistake – for which I continue to apologise and have faced severe punishment. It has not deterred me from doing right by my constituents and continuing to fight on their behalf. I hope that my constituents will recognise this.”

The MP said this would be her “only statement on the matter.”

READ MORE: Panel's brutal verdict on Ferrier as appeal fails

Both Labour and the SNP are confident that the 8,113 signatures necessary to force a by-election can be gathered.

According to the most recent figures, there are 15,060 postal voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

If the petition is successful Ms Ferrier can stand in the resulting by-election. 

As well as being the first recall petition in Scotland, it will also be the first electoral contest requiring Voter ID.

If she loses her seat, the timing of the by-election will be up to the SNP, who have the responsibility to move the writ in the Commons. 

They must put a motion to MPs, and if agreed, the Speaker will notify the relevant Returning Officer.

There is no statutory time limit for the moving of the writ.

However, because the petition ends in the middle of summer, the earliest they can move the writ is when the Commons returns in September.