The SNP's Westminster leader Stephen Flynn says Margaret Ferrier should have resigned as soon as her breach of lockdown rules became known.

The former MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West was suspended and had the party whip withdrawn after admitting to travelling to London while having Covid symptoms, and then returning to Scotland following a positive test.

Ms Ferrier was arrested in January 2021 and charged with "culpable and reckless conduct", which she admitted to and was given community service.

The Commons Select Committee recommended earlier this year that she be suspended from parliament for 30 days, triggering a recall petition.

A by-election will now take place in her constituency after close to 12,000 people signed the petition.

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In an exclusive interview with Kevin McKenna, the SNP's Westminster leader was asked if Ms Ferrier should haev been treated with more compassion - but he insisted her own actions had caused the problem.

Mr Flynn told The Herald: "Margaret should have stood down as soon as her actions had become public knowledge.

"It would have been best for her and best for the party. I said this in the immediate aftermath and I haven’t changed my opinion.

“You need to remember the context in which we were all living. I don’t think the passage of time should allow us to forget that what she did was wrong and at a time when all of our lives were absolutely awful. Yes, time’s a healer, but Margaret knew the rules under which we were all living. If it had been me, I’d have resigned immediately.

“Ultimately, it was her decision to do what she did and then to hold on until we got to a point where people had to vote to remove her. She had agency in this and that’s the frustrating thing. It damaged her and us too in the constituency. I hope though, that Margaret, if she requires it, is getting support from those close to her. But the reality is that she had control over this from the start and that’s why it’s dragged out.”