Fiona Onasanya has become the first female MP to be jailed after she lied about a speeding ticket, but is refusing to quit parliament, a court was told.
The former Labour MP, who now stands as the independent member for Peterborough, was yesterday sentenced to three months for perverting the course of justice. She will continue to receive her salary of more than 77,000 pounds while in prison.
MP’s are automatically forced to step down only if they receive a jail sentence of more than 12 months. However,under laws introduced in 2015, any prison term can trigger a recall petition which can force a by election if signed by 10 percent of voters in a constituency.
Fiona Onasanya, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice in December, after she lied to police about a speeding ticket. She was caught driving at 41mph in a 30mph zone on July the 24th 2018. Her brother told authorities someone else had been driving, and Onasanya made what a judge called the “disastrous decision” to keep up the lie.
Her brother Festus, 34, from Cambridge, who pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice, has been given a ten month prison sentence.
Fiona has been booted out of the Labour party, but her sentence is not long enough for her to lose her parliamentary seat. So she remains the independent MP for Peterborough, while she serves her sentence.
The Labour party said in a statement: “Fiona Onasanya has let the voters of Peterborough down.” The party called on its former MP to resign from parliament at once.”