Fiona Onasanya, the disgraced former Labour MP for Peterborough, has been ousted in a recall petition by constituents. It is the first time that the recall petition has lead to the removal of an MP since the process was introduced by David Cameron in 2015.
19,261 constituents in Peterborough signed the petition for her to be removed as their MP, representing 27.6% of eligible residents which was far beyond the 10% required.
John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, said in a statement:
“Fiona Onasanya is no longer the member for Peterborough and the seat is accordingly vacant. She can therefore no longer participate in any parliamentary proceedings as a member of parliament.”
Onasanya has confirmed that she will be not be standing in the by-election, posting on Twitter:
“In light of the recall result, I will not be seeking to stand in the by-election, but would encourage every person seeking to be the change they wish to see by saying this: You can do it – the sky is not the limit when there are footsteps on the moon.”
Fiona Onasanya, the former Labour MP for Peterborough, has been sentenced to three months imprisonment for perverting the course of justice. Onasanya, who is appealing the case, will now face a recall petition to unseat her should her appeal fail.
Justice Stuart-Smith, giving Onasanya the lowest possible sentence for the crime, said:
“You have not simply let yourself down, you have let down those who look to you for inspiration, your party, your profession and Parliament.”
Fiona Onasanya, the independent MP for Peterborough, is facing calls for an investigation into her behaviour after a video was released showing her pretending to take cocaine. The video was released on the same day that the Labour Party confirmed that she had been expelled from the party after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Fiona Onasanya, the MP for Peterborough, who was found guilty of perverting the course of justice, has indicated that she will not be standing down. She wrote in an article for Peterborough Today that she intended to continue as the city’s representative in Parliament, saying:
“While it has been a successful year fighting back against these injustices, there is still much more to be done, and you can rest assured that I will continue to do so as your representative in the corridors of power”.
Mark Edwards, the editor of Peterborough Today, said in a statement justifying his paper’s publishing of the disgraced MP’s column said:
“The PT offers columns to the two sitting MPs covering Peterborough if they choose to submit one. While she is still the MP – and therefore the elected representative – we believe it would be wrong to deny our readers the chance to read what she has submitted. To censor the column would, in my view, be wrong, and in my experience our readers are quite capable of making their own minds up about the columns submitted by local politicians. The column will of course remain subject to our normal legal and Editor’s Code of Conduct boundaries”.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, confirmed that the MP has been suspended from the Labour Party and he called on her to resign from her seat, saying:
“Obviously, she is not going to remain as the Member of Parliament because she been found guilty in a court of law”.
Fiona Onasanya, the Labour MP for Peterborough, has been charged with perverting the course of justice. She and her brother will appear at the Old Bailey in London on 13 August 2018 after being alleged to have lied about who was driving when the police caught the car speeding.
Onasanya, who would be likely to stand down from the House of Commons if found guilty, could also be removed under the 2015 Recall Act 2015 if 10% of the Peterborough electors sign a petition for a by-election.
Onasanya gained the seat at the 2017 General Election with a majority of 607, defeating Stewart Jackson, the sitting Conservative MP. The Labour Party said in a statement that they wouldn’t be commenting whilst the matter was before the courts.