Political

MP loses appeal, sentence not long enough to trigger by-election but voters can still force one

To unpack the headline:

  • Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya (elected as Labour, since expelled) has lost her appeal against a conviction for perverting the course of justice.
  • Her jail sentence is not long enough to force a Parliamentary by-election and the review process has concluded without it being increased.
  • However (thanks to one of the political reforms the Liberal Democrats did secure during the coalition years), voters in Peterborough can trigger a by-election anyway if enough of them sign an official request.

 

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2 responses to “MP loses appeal, sentence not long enough to trigger by-election but voters can still force one”

  1. What do we know about Fiona Onasanya ? We need to be particularly careful in commenting, since this case bears striking resemblances to the one that put Chris Huhne and his wife Vicky Pryce in prison and banging on about it could be counterproductive. This said, yes, the right of recall by Petition is a reform brought in by Lib Dems in coalition. Given the concerns raised about the unsuccess of the Petition against Ian Paisley Junior MP a few months back (signatures book not open for long enough in enough easy-reach places at accessible enough times), will there be any differences on these points in this new case ? Can we influence any of this ?

  2. Interesting that the BBC report side-stepped the fact that she was Labour, pointedly saying that she was an Independent..
    But who decided on there being a threshold of time behind bars.. Surely if you have done something that deserves a custodial sentence then you are self-evidently not a suitable person to serve in Parliament. High time that this rule system was reviewed, including removing titles from people so proven to be unworthy. The nation needs to have respect for its parliamentarians… but then, taking the thought further, when an MP purposely lies to the House or lies to the country then they should also be shown the door – So if we were to introduce my rule tomorrow, I wonder how many by-elections that would cause.?

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