Disgraced MP Margaret Ferrier has defied critics and voted in the House of Commons, despite orders from Nicola Sturgeon to resign.
In the clearest signal yet that she intends to tough it out against SNP calls for her resignation, the MP voted by proxy in the Commons on Monday evening.
Ms Ferrier, who is self-isolating since travelling from Glasgow to London and back while suffering Covid symptoms, cast her vote remotely in the Agriculture Bill.
The system of proxy voting allows MPs who cannot attend the Commons due to medical reasons to have their vote cast by another member.
The Daily Record has reported that her vote was cast by Jonathan Edwards, a Welsh nationalist MP suspended from Plaid Cymru for a year after accepting a police caution for assaulting his wife.
It is the first involvement Ms Ferrier has had in the Commons since it emerged she breached coronavirus rules by travelling from Scotland to Westminster and back while suffering with the virus.
Ms Sturgeon and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford have been among those calling on Ms Ferrier to stand down over the incident, while Scottish Labour has launched an online petition calling for her to resign.
In an interview with The Sun this weekend, the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West said she had no intention of standing down.
She told the paper: “This has been an awful experience but I’ll keep fighting for my constituents because that’s who I am.”
She added that she has received support locally in the wake of the incident and has “owned up and apologised profusely”.
She also spoke out about the level of criticism she has received over the incident, adding: “You feel you are getting a lot of criticism from people you thought were your colleagues or friends who’d understand it was an error of judgement. I’m not denying that.
“People may be saying, ‘You should have known better, you’re a public figure’. But, at the end of the day, it still hurts. You then think about all that hard work and dedication – is that just wiped away?”
Responding to the comments, Ms Sturgeon said she hoped the MP would still “do the right thing” and stand down.
She said: “It is unacceptable that somebody in her position flagrantly disregarded the rules like that and I cannot be clearer about that, it is not acceptable and she should resign.”
The first minister suggested if the MP continued to refuse to resign that the Commons should take action.
Under Commons rules, MPs can decide to suspend a fellow member for breaches of the code of conduct.
If an MP is suspended for 30 parliamentary sitting days, a by-election is trigged.
Ms Sturgeon said: “There are House of Commons processes now that will be able to be deployed.”