Fiona Onasanya Loses Seat After Recall Petition Triggers By-Election

1 May 2019, 19:15 | Updated: 2 May 2019, 14:02

Fiona Onasanya
Fiona Onasanya. Picture: PA

Fiona Onasanya has lost her seat following a recall petition reached the sufficient number of signatures to trigger a by-election.

Fiona Onasanya has become the first MP to lose her seat after more than 27% of registered voters in her Peterborough constituency signed a recall petition demanding her removal.

The 35-year-old lawyer was jailed for perverting the course of justice after found guilty of lying to avoid a speeding ticket and served less than four weeks of a three-month prison sentence earlier this year.

In the House of Commons, Speaker John Bercow said: “Fiona Onasanya is no longer the member for Peterborough and the seat is accordingly vacant.”

A spokeswoman for Peterborough City Council said 19,261 people signed the petition, passing the 10% threshold for a recall and triggering a by-election in the Peterborough constituency.

The recall procedure was first introduced by David Cameron in 2015 and Ms Onasanya has become the first MP to be removed from office under the process.

Ms Onasanya was sitting as an independent MP after Labour expelled her from the party in December and could stand in the by-election scheduled for June 6th.

Labour MP and Party Chair Ian Lavery said: “The people of Peterborough clearly agree that Fiona Onasanya is not fit to be their MP and we’re delighted they will now have the chance to vote for a Labour MP in our excellent candidate, Lisa Forbes. Labour will move the writ tomorrow."

Liberal Democrat candidate, Beki Sellick, said: “Brexit is the issue on the doorstep, even when simply campaigning for the council elections.”

The candidate for the Conservative party, Paul Bristow, said: "Peterborough has the chance to vote for a better MP - it’ll be a choice between Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate and me."

Nigel Farage has said his Brexit Party will also field a candidate to stand in the seat which voted to leave the EU by 60 per cent.