Tuesday, 25 January 2022

MP jailed after lying about speeding


LONDON: The MP for Peterborough was found guilty on 19 December of perverting the course of justice after lying to police in an attempt to avoid a fine and three points on her driving licence. Fiona Onasanya, a 35-year-old solicitor, was accused of colluding with her brother Festus after her car was caught on camera doing 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney, near Peterborough. On Tuesday, 29 January, Onasanya was jailed for three months by a judge at the Old Bailey in central London.

The length of the sentence means that she has automatically triggered a recall petition in her constituency. Last month Labour suspended Onasanya, who had a majority of only 607 at the June 2017 election.  Sixty percent of voters went for Brexit at the 2016 referendum and there has been speculation it will be a key issue in any by-election which would be triggered by her resignation. Under laws introduced in 2015 any prison term leads to a recall petition, which will be open for six weeks.

And can force a by-election if signed by 10 percent of voters in a constituency.

“She cannot possibly represent her constituents from prison and should do the decent thing and immediately step down,” said a Conservative Party spokesman. Her brother Festus Onasanya, 34, pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice to avoid speeding points and was jailed for 10 months on Tuesday.

But his sister chose to deny a single count of perverting the course of justice. She was found guilty following a retrial. She wrote back to Cambridgeshire Police claiming it was being driven by Aleks Antipow, a Russian who had lived at the property in Cambridge where Onasanya lived.

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