In a statement published on her website, the former SNP politician who broke the rules said many voters in the seat had told her they didn’t want a by-election.
Signing stations across the South Lanarkshire constituency will be open for six weeks from Tuesday morning.
If more than 10 percent of voters add their names to the petition, whether in person or by absentee ballot, Ms Ferrier will automatically lose her seat.
CONTINUE READING: Margaret Ferrier: Scotland’s first recall petition opens June 20th
The process came after MPs backed a 30-day suspension of the former commercial sales chief from the House of Commons over her breaches of pandemic rules and subsequent criminal conviction.
Ms Ferrier was found guilty of culpable and reckless behavior in Glasgow Sheriff Court last August after admitting to traveling on a train in September 2020 despite knowing she had contracted Covid.
The MP also spoke in the House of Commons and visited a number of places at her seat, including a Mass at St Mungo’s Church and a bar in Prestwick while awaiting the results of a Covid test.
After the positive result was obtained, she lied to her colleagues and said she had to go home to visit a sick relative.
She was sentenced to 270 hours of community service after pleading guilty to willfully putting people “at risk of infection, disease and death”.
CONTINUE READING: MPs suspend Margaret Ferrier for breaking Covid rules
In her statement, Ms Ferrier said her work to date speaks for her constituents.
She said: “As an independent MP, my constituents always come first for me.
“The most important thing is that they can access the right support when they need it and have confidence that their views are represented.” My record speaks for itself in that regard.
“I have no desire or need to get involved in party politics, which inevitably distracts from voter issues and the needs of local residents.
“While the parties have bickered for months over their candidates for a by-election that has not even been confirmed, they have failed to address the very real issues facing many in our community.
“That’s why so many voters have expressed to me that they don’t want a by-election.”
The MP said some constituents had told her the local authority’s instructions were “unclear”.
“If you want me to continue to be your MP, then don’t sign the petition paper,” she added.
The statement continued: “Ultimately it is up to the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West to decide what happens next – not Westminster, not Holyrood and certainly not political party headquarters.”
“I made a mistake – for which I continue to apologize and face a severe penalty. It hasn’t stopped me from doing what’s right for my constituents and continuing to fight for them. I hope my constituents see that.”
The MP said it was her “only opinion on the matter”.
CONTINUE READING: The panel’s brutal verdict against Ferrier fails on appeal
Both Labor and the SNP are confident of collecting the 8,113 signatures needed to force a by-election.
According to the latest figures, there are 15,060 postal voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.
If the petition is successful, Ms. Ferrier can run in the resulting by-election.
Not only is this the first recall petition in Scotland, it is also the first election campaign to require voter identification.
Should she lose her seat, the timing of the by-election rests with the SNP, which is responsible for making the decision in the lower house.
You have to submit a motion to MPs and if approved, the Speaker notifies the responsible Election Officer.
There is no statutory time limit for the transmission of the document.
But with the petition ending in the middle of summer, the earliest they can move the motion is when the House of Commons returns in September.