Pay of disgraced former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya is finally stopped after she became first politician to be KICKED OUT of Parliament by voters as outrage grows over £1m taxpayer bill she ran up while clinging on
- Onasanya, 35, jailed in January for perverting the course of justice with brother
- She refused to quit and continued to collect her £77,379 salary until last night
- Ex-Labour MP has collected £19,000 in pay over the last three months
- Court case and retrial cost around £500,000 and election petition £500,000
Fiona Onasanya was booted out of the Commons after almost 20,000 people in Peterborough signed the petition to kick her out of the seat after less than two years
Sacking MP Fiona Onasanya has finally had her £77,000 salary stopped but she has deceit has now cost the taxpayer more than £1million, it was revealed today.
Onasanya, who has compared herself to Moses, was finally stripped of her Parliamentary seat last night – three months after she was jailed for perverting the course of justice.
The 35-year-old was dramatically kicked out after disgusted voters in her Peterborough constituency came forward to sign a by-election petition, with the poll expected on June 6.
Onasanya would not be entitled to severance pay because she has served for less than two years as an MP, but will get a petition.
But refusal to quit despite being jailed has allowed her to rake in more than £19,000 in pay over the last three months.
And taxpayers will be hit with a bill of £500,000 to fund the costs of running the petition and election next month, on top of the £500,000 public bill to run her initial trial and retrial.
Some 19,261 people signed the petition to remove her – nearly 30 per cent of those eligible to. Just under 7,000 signatures were needed to get rid of her.
A council spokesman said: ‘This means that the petition is successful and the Peterborough parliamentary seat is now vacant.’
It is the first time voters have successfully unseated an MP using 2015 legislation.
Photo issued by the CPS of CCTV footage showing Fiona Onasanya speeding 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney near Peterborough
Onasanya’s removal will now open up a dramatic by-election race between the Conservatives, Labour and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. Last night, Mr Farage tweeted: ‘I can confirm that @brexitparty_uk will fight the Peterborough by-election. We will give it our best shot.’
Onasanya, 35, refused to quit after being handed a three-month prison sentence
The trained solicitor was sent to prison in January following an Old Bailey trial for repeatedly lying to police about a speeding offence in July 2017 – only weeks after she was elected to parliament.
The one-time Jeremy Corbyn ally was thrown out of the Labour Party and implored to stand down as an MP after her conviction.
But Onasanya, who has repeatedly maintained her innocence, refused to acknowledge criticism from her former colleagues and clung on to the job while behind bars at HMP Bronzefield.
The former Labour whip’s legal team claimed she could not quit the £77,000 Commons job because it was her only source of income.
Her refusal to quit allowed Onasanya to rake in more than £19,000 in pay over the last three months.
MPs only automatically lose their seat if they are sentenced to more than one year in prison.
Since Onasanya’s three-month sentence fell below this threshold, it instead paved the way to open a recall petition in her constituency. The opening of the petition was also put on hold after she appealed her conviction.
But the Court of Appeal refused the bid, saying she had no legal basis for challenging the conviction. The petition was eventually opened by Peterborough Council on March 19.
Postal and Signatory ballot papers arrive at City Hall in Peterborough for the removal of Fiona Onasanya as MP
The petition defeat will prove highly embarrassing for Onasanya who has brazenly maintained that she has done nothing wrong.
Nigel Farage eyes first scalp for Brexit party
Nigel Farage is now eyeing the Peterborough by-election as a possible first scalp for his newly-formed Brexit party.
The former Ukip leader launched the new party earlier this year in dismay over the government’s handling of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
After news today that the Onasanya petition had succeeded, he confirmed the Brexit party will be fielding a candidate in the by-election.
Farage said, ‘(We will) give it our best shot.’
The electric tag fitted when she was released early from jail in February after serving only 28 days of her sentence was removed earlier this week.
She returned to Parliament as an independent and took part in votes while wearing it.
She was convicted alongside her soul singer brother Festus, 34, who admitted three counts of perverting the course of justice, one of which related to the incident when the politician was driving.
A notice of intended prosecution sent to the MP after the offence was returned stating a Russian tenant at a property rented by the siblings was driving. Police discovered the alleged driver was not in the UK at the time.
After her conviction, Onsanya made an extraordinary outburst on a WhatsApp group for Labour MPs. She said: ‘I am in good biblical company along with Joseph, Moses, Daniel and his three Hebrew friends who were each found guilty by the courts of their day,’ she said.
‘Of course this is equally true of Christ and yet this was not his end but rather the beginning of the next chapter in his story.’
The message drew scorn from her colleagues.
Labour’s chief whip Nick Brown MP is expected to move the writ needed to trigger a by-election in Parliament today, with a view to holding the vote on June 6.
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