MP Fiona Onasanya jailed for 3 months after lying to escape speeding points – but will still receive full salary while behind bars
Fiona Onasanya became the first sitting female MP to be jailed when she got three months for lying to dodge a speeding fine.
But the 35-year-old, who has stubbornly ignored calls to resign, will pocket about £9,000 from the taxpayer as she completes half her sentence inside.
She can be ousted as an MP only if ten per cent of her constituents in Peterborough, Cambs, sign a petition to demand a by-election. That process is on ice as she has indicated she plans to appeal.
A Tory party 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 the residents of Peterborough can have their say in a by-election.”
Onasanya, a one-time ally of Jeremy Corbyn, had been an MP for only a few weeks when she was caught doing 41mph in a 30mph zone.
Her brother Festus, 34, filled out a form claiming a Russian former housemate was driving at the time.
Festus, who has a string of previous convictions including robbery, was jailed for ten months for perverting the course of justice.
Months to oust her
LIAR Fiona Onasanya could cling on to her job and £77,000 MP’s salary for months.
She is appealing against her conviction which means a new legal process to let voters boot her out is on hold.
Had she been sent to prison for more than a year, Onasanya would have automatically lost the Peterborough seat she won in 2017.
As she got three months, it should trigger a petition to get rid of her under the Recall of MPs Act 2015.
That involves Speaker John Bercow notifying the city council. It has ten days to start the petition and arrange for up to ten venues where voters can sign the petition to be opened for six weeks.
If ten per cent of constituents sign it would prompt a by-election in which Onasanya would be allowed to stand.
However, the petition is on hold until the appeal process is completed. That could take months if it goes back to court.
Onasanya was sacked by Labour after a jury found her guilty last month but stayed on as an independent MP.
It meant the former solicitor, who compared herself to Jesus after her conviction, continued to collect her £77,000 a year salary.
Her barrister, Christine Agnew QC, told the Old Bailey: “She is a reliable and committed MP. Through every step of her life she has sought to do good.
“She continues to act as an independent MP because this is her only source of income.”
Justice Sir Jeremy Stuart-Smith told Onasanya he would not treat her more severely because she was an MP and a solicitor.
However, there were claims she got a shorter sentence than drivers could expect for similar offences.
Jail terms for perverting the course of justice are usually between four months and three years.
Denying the offence, as Onasanya continues to do, also usually results in a longer sentence.
Former cabinet minister Chris Huhne was jailed for eight months in 2013 after admitting getting his wife to take his speeding points.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said her sentence “appears very lenient when compared to Chris Huhne who pleaded guilty and got a longer sentence”.
Source: Read Full Article