By-election in Peterborough still in the balance after Labour MP convicted

Fiona Onasanya, elected as a Labour MP but expelled and found guilty of lying over a speeding offence, has been given a three-month jail sentence.

This isn’t long enough to automatically disqualify her as an MP. But, once any appeals process has been followed, it will then automatically kick-off a recall petition. If enough constituents (10% of the electorate) sign the petition, then a by-election for the constituency will be held.

As The Guardian reports:

The jury heard that she had repeatedly lied after her car was caught by a speeding camera driving at 41mph in a 30mph zone.

Her sentencing will also prompt a formal inquiry by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which could lead to her being struck off.

Onasanya has vowed to carry on as an MP, and has compared her plight to that of Jesus Christ in WhatsApp messages to fellow Labour MPs.

The date for Fiona Onasanya’s appeal has now been set: 5 March. In addition, the MP’s jail sentence is now being reviewed, which could trigger a by-election if it is increased.

I was campaigning in Peterborough last month. Here’s the piece I recorded on why other Lib Dems should head there too:

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