Former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya has become the first MP to be kicked out of Parliament by voters after almost 20,000 signed petition demanding she be booted out after being jailed for lying to police.
Onasanya made history as the first politician to be booted out of the Commons by voters using a recall petition.
Almost 20,000 people in Peterborough signed the petition to kick her out reports Daily Mail Online.
It came after she was jailed in January for perverting the course of justice
Onasanya, 35, refused to quit and continued to collect her £77,379 salary
Criminal former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya has become the first politician to be booted out of the Commons by voters using a recall petition.
A spokeswoman for Peterborough Council, which ran the petition, said that it had been signed by 19,261 people, far above the 7,000 signatures required to get rid of her.
‘This means that the petition is successful and the Peterborough parliamentary seat is now vacant,’ she added.
The decision sets up a mouthwatering by-election prospect in an area which voted 60-40 to Leave in the 2016 EU referendum.
Nigel Farage’s Brexit party has indicated it will stand a candidate in the seat, which Onasanya took with a 607 majority in 2017 from Tory Stewart Jackson.
Labour and the Tories will both fight the seat and Onasanya is allowed to stand as an independent.
The 35-year-old refused to quit after being handed a three-month prison sentence.
Labour party chairman Ian Lavery MP, 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.’
And the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Peterborough, Paul Bristow, said: ‘The people of Peterborough deserve a better MP who will vote in Parliament to deliver Brexit.
‘I’m delighted this result gives local people the chance to make their voices heard and vote for a better MP – and it will be a choice between Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour candidate and me.’
Commons Speaker John Bercow also confirmed the news, telling MPs, ‘Fiona Onasanya is no longer the member for Peterborough and the seat is accordingly vacant.
‘She can therefore no longer participate in any parliamentary proceedings as a member of parliament.’
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.’
Onasanya was sentenced to three months in prison in January this year for perverting the course of justice after lying to police over a speeding charge.
Before she was sentenced, she sent a bizarre message to fellow Labour MPs likening her predicament to that of several biblical figures including Jesus, and asking them to pray for her.
She was kicked out of the Labour party following her conviction, but after her release from jail in late February, she infuriated constituents by refused to resign her seat.
Onasanya continued to attend the House of Commons as an independent MP, even while wearing an electronic ankle tag as part of her early release conditions.
Last month, she sparked fury by voting in favour of a bill to block Brexit which passed in the House of Commons by just one vote.
The recall petition was opened in March, giving constituents six weeks to sign before it closes at 5pm today.
It needed to attract the signatures of 10 per cent of eligible voters – about 7,000 people – to force a by-election.
Although, under recall rules brought in after the MPs expenses scandal, she would remain eligible to stand for re-election.
Onasanya was not subject to automatic removal as an MP as her sentence was less than 12 months, and has resisted calls to resign her role.
She is the second MP, and the first representing an English constituency, to be subjected to a recall petition since the procedure was introduced in 2015 to give voters a means of ousting errant MPs in between elections.
North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Jr narrowly avoided recall last year when 9.4 per cent of eligible constituents signed a petition demanding his removal after he was suspended from Parliament for failing to declare a holiday paid for by the Sri Lankan government.
Source: Daily Mail Online