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MP Margaret Ferrier pleads guilty and admits breaching Covid rules

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MP Margaret Ferrier
Image credit: (Instagram @Skynewspolitics)

The Scottish MP, Margaret Ferrier, has pleaded guilty this morning at Glasgow Sheriff Court, admitting to breaching Covid rules in September 2020.

 

Her charge stated that she had “exposed people to risk of infection, illness and death.

 

Whilst awaiting Covid test results in September 2020, Ferrier took a train from Scotland to London to speak in the House of Commons on Monday 28th of September.

 

She also, reportedly, visited a beauty salon and a gift shop in her constituency, gave a reading to the congregation at a church, and spent 2 hours in a bar in Prestwick Ayrshire all whilst awaiting results.

 

Once she received a positive result, instead of self-isolating, she stayed the night at her hotel in London, and then got the train back to Glasgow. Contact traces for NHS Test and Protect tried to contact her 4 times over this time period, leaving 2 voicemails.

 

Ferrier now sits as an independent MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West. The rule break came to light in October 2020 and she was suspended from her party.

 

At the time, Ferrier apologised with the following statement:

Image credit: (Twitter @MargaretFerrier)

The first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, commented on the rule break at the time. She described her actions as “dangerous and indefensible.”

 

A spokesperson from the Catholic church also commented on her actions, saying: “the church went to significant lengths to abide by all government Covid guidance and It is disappointing to learn that anyone would knowingly disregard the guidance.”

 

Ferrier’s rule break follows the controversy in May 2020, when Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s adviser, visited the North East of England during lockdown.

 

Ferrier was one of the MPs who called for Cummings to resign, she described his position as “untenable” and said his actions had “undermined the sacrifices that we have all been making in lockdown.”

 

Today, the prosecutor Mark Allan, told the court: “the conduct amounted to a reckless disregard of public safety.

 

The sentencing has been deferred until next month so background reports can be gathered.

 

What are your thoughts, join the conversation on our Facebook page….

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Cinemas to screen the Queen’s funeral for free on Monday

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Around 150 cinemas across the UK will open on Monday to allow people to watch the Queen’s state funeral for free, while suspending the screening of films, to allow the public to mourn together.

 

Vue, Curzon and Arc will all screen the funeral proceedings free of charge at select venues from 10am. The funeral will take place at 11am on Monday, September 19 at Westminster Abbey.

 

Vue has cinemas in Gateshead, Cramlington and Hartlepool and will suspend normal scheduling on the national day of mourning. The chain issued a statement to inform the public that: “Seats will be free of charge and our retail offering on this day will be limited to complimentary bottled water during the broadcast, with no other snacks or drinks available for purchase.”

 

In addition, they will also screen the London Procession in the majority of their UK venues on Wednesday, 14 September, live from 1.30pm. On this day all other screens will be open showing film content as normal.

 

Other cinemas across the UK have decided to offer this too, including Arc Cinema, Reel Cinemas, Picturedome and Savoy.

 

The largest cinema chains, Odeon and Cineworld, will remain closed alongside Picturehouse, Showcase and The Light.

 

Will you be going to a showing – let us know on our Facebook page and join the conversation –

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North East foodbanks to close on Monday as the Queen’s funeral is held

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Newcastle Gateshead Foodbank

Several foodbanks across the North East will close their warehouses and distribution centres this Bank Holiday Monday, the day the Queen’s funeral is being held.

 

In the North East, Gateshead Foodbank has announced that it will be closed on Monday to reopen the following day. Sunderland and County Durham Foodbank will also be closed, as well as their foodbank warehouse.

 

It was announced that the day of the Queen’s funeral would be a bank holiday by King Charles III this weekend, as a national day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s funeral will take place at 11am on Monday, September 19 at Westminster Abbey. The public will be able to pay their respects 24 hours a day for four days until 6.30am on Monday, while the Queen lies in state in the Palace of Westminster.

 

The Trussell Trust work to stop UK hunger and poverty, and their network of foodbanks provides emergency food and support to people in crisis. A spokesperson told the Mirror that food banks across the country were given the option to close or stay open depending on the needs of their community.

 

They clarified that “foodbanks are all independent, but we have emailed saying it is a bank holiday and they can decide what to do. It really depends on the local need on the ground, the volunteers will know if they are particularly quiet on a Monday, or if it is a busier day.”

 

The decision to close a number of foodbanks has proved to be controversial, with some slamming the move as classist. What are your thoughts?

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Memorial service for the Queen to be held at Newcastle Cathedral

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Newcastle Cathedral is set to hold a memorial service for the Queen, on Sunday 18 September.

 

The service will take place at 4pm, a day ahead of the Queen’s Funeral which will take place the following morning at Westminster Abbey.

 

The service will be one of Commemoration and Thanksgiving for the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

 

It will be open to members of the public. However, the capacity in the cathedral is limited and so people are advised to arrive early as entry will be on a first come basis.

 

The Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, the High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear and the Acting Bishop of Newcastle will all be in attendance as well as the full Cathedral Choir.

 

Very Revd Geoff Miller, The Dean of Newcastle, issued a statement on behalf of the Cathedral: “It is with great sadness that, alongside people across our nation and the Commonwealth, we heard the news of the death of Elizabeth, our Queen and Governor.

 

“We at the Cathedral in Newcastle will approach this period of national mourning not only in grief but in deep gratitude to her for a long and dignified reign, in which her wisdom and graciousness have enabled stability, progress and a growing desire for goodwill among all people. She has been our Queen through many challenging times and has unfalteringly sought the good for our nation and its citizens. For this, we give thanks, and now we pray that she may rest in peace.

“Together, inspired by her spirit of commitment and graciousness, we shall look forward to the future and give loyal support to her successor, the King, in the sure knowledge that her example will inspire him and us. God Save the King.”

You can watch the service on the cathedral’s YouTube channel as it is being live-streamed.

 

On Sunday, at the start of the funeral service in London, two minutes of silence will be observed in St Nicholas Square.

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