NEWS
29/01/2019 13:17 GMT | Updated 29/01/2019 16:54 GMT

Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya Jailed For 3 Months In Speeding Trial

Her brother Festus received a 10 month sentence.

Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya has been jailed for three months for lying to avoid a speeding prosecution.

The Peterborough MP was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by lying to authorities about who was driving her car on 24 July, 2017.

She appeared at the Old Bailey on Tuesday to be sentenced alongside her brother Festus Onasanya, who pleaded guilty to three similar charges, including the July incident.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith jailed the politician for three months and sentenced her brother to 10 months in prison.

He said: “It’s a tragedy that you have found yourselves here and in this predicament but it’s a tragedy that you have brought on yourselves.”

PA
Festus Onansanya was sentenced to 10 months in prison 

The MP told the Old Bailey she was not sure who had been driving her Nissan Micra when it was clocked speeding at 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney, near Peterborough.

The prosecution alleged Onasanya went on to collude with her brother Festus to avoid a speeding ticket.

The court was told she was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) to fill out, but it was sent back naming the driver as Aleks Antipow, an acquaintance of Festus, who was away visiting his parents in Russia.

In the wake of the guilty verdict, Onasanya was expelled from the Labour Party and has launched an appeal against her conviction. She now sits as an independent MP. 

She took the marginal seat from the Tories with a majority of just 607 at the 2017 election just 18 months ago.

Parliamentary rules require the triggering of a process for the removal of an MP who is jailed for 12 months or more.

But with a lesser sentence, a recall petition can force a by-election if it is signed by more than 10% of the electorate in the Cambridgeshire seat.

A spokesman for the Labour party said: “Fiona Onasanya has let the voters of Peterborough down.

“When she was found guilty she should have immediately done the decent thing and resigned.

“However today’s sentence gives Fiona one last opportunity to act honourably and resign from parliament. She should do this without delay and not take another penny in salary from the public purse.

“If Fiona does not resign, Labour will support local residents in their efforts to trigger a by-election through a recall petition.

“Labour will fight any by-election vigorously. The people of Peterborough voted for a Labour MP, and that is what they deserve.

“That’s why Labour will now begin the process of selecting a candidate for the inevitable by-election – someone who will serve in the interests of the people of Peterborough.

“Peterborough needs a Labour MP to stand up for the people in this great city against the chaotic mismanagement of the Tory Government and Council.”

A Conservative spokesman said: “She cannot possibly represent her constituents from prison and should do the decent thing and immediately step down.

“If she doesn’t, we will campaign to use a recall petition to ensure that the residents of Peterborough can have their say in a by-election for a new MP.

“Labour are ignoring the democratic vote of Peterborough and are doing all they can to frustrate Brexit for political purposes. The people of Peterborough deserve a Conservative MP who will respect their views.”