By-Election Triggered As Peterborough Voters Back Bid To Remove Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party has pledged to stand a candidate.

A petition to recall Independent MP Fiona Onasanya has secured the signatures of more than 10% of registered voters in her Peterborough constituency, forcing a by-election in which the former Labour MP may stand.

The recall petition, which was distributed at ten ‘signing places’ in the constituency over six weeks, closed on Wednesday and attracted the signatures of 19,261 voters.

Onasanya, who was originally elected as a Labour MP, was jailed in January for perverting the course of justice. She had lied about who was driving her car when it was caught speeding in July 2017.

The 35-year-old, who has since been expelled from the party, was released from prison in February and has continued to receive her £77,379 salary.

Labour has selected Lisa Forbes, who lost out to Tory Stewart Jackson in the same seat in 2015, as its candidate. Paul Bristow is the candidate for the Conservatives.

The new Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, has said it plans to stand a candidate, making it the first Westminster seat the party will target.

Farage tweeted: “I can confirm that @brexitparty_uk will fight the Peterborough by-election. We will give it our best shot.”

Meanwhile, UKIP will be contesting seat with John Whitby as its candidate.

Under recall rules, Onasanya could also stand for re-election.

PA Wire/PA Images

Ian Lavery MP, Labour Party chairman, said: “Labour campaigned hard for a victory in this recall petition.

“The people of Peterborough clearly agree that Fiona Onasanya is not fit to be their MP and we’re delighted they will now have the chance to vote for a Labour MP in our excellent candidate, Lisa Forbes. Labour will move the writ tomorrow.

“Labour will vigorously fight the by-election here in Peterborough.

“The voters of Peterborough will have a stark choice: between the Tories who have cut police numbers while crime is rising, or Labour who will put more bobbies on the beat and cut crime; the Conservatives who are destroying our NHS, or Labour who will provide the doctors and nurses local hospitals in the region desperately need.

“And voters will have the choice between a Labour Party which will invest to create high skilled, well paid jobs, or the Tory policies that have left too many people here in Peterborough striving but barely surviving.”


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