Fiona Onasanya is facing a jail sentence after an Old Bailey jury found her guilty of perverting the course of justice and has been suspended by Labour party amid demands for her resignation. She will be stripped of her Commons seat if handed a prison sentence of more than one year but is entitled to remain as an MP otherwise. However the 35-year-old solicitor has told constituents to “rest assured” that she will keep fighting injustices and will remain their representative.
Writing in her regular column for her constituency’s local newspaper the Peterborough Telegraph, she said: “It’s an honour to be your voice for change over an incredibly consequential period of British politics.
“While it has been a successful year fighting back against these injustices, there is still much more to be done, and you can rest assured that I will continue to do so as your representative in the corridors of power.”
Labour has said in a statement that they believe Onasanya should resign before she is sentenced next month.
The newspaper’s editor, Mark Edwards, defended his decision to continue printing Ms Onasanya’s column despite her criminal conviction.
He said: “While she is still the MP – and therefore the elected representative – we believe it would be wrong to deny our readers the chance to read what she has submitted.
“To censor the column would, in my view, be wrong, and in my experience our readers are quite capable of making their own minds up about the columns submitted by local politicians.”
Earlier this month, Onasanya compared herself to Jesus in a bizarre text message sent to a group chat of Labour MPs on WhatsApp.
The Peterborough MP wrote: “What I do know is that 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.
“While God did not save them from a guilty verdict he did save them in it and ensured that their greatest days of impact were on the other side of a guilty verdict.
“Of course this is equally true of Christ who was accused and convicted by the courts of his day and yet this was not his end but rather the beginning of the next chapter in his story.”
During the trial, jurors heard how Ms Onasanya claimed her former lodger Aleks Antipow was driving the purple Nissan Micra at the time.
However it was revealed Mr Antipow was visiting his family in Russia and could not possibly have been at the wheel.
Ms Onasanya had a clean driving licence at the time and would only have been punished by six points and a fine had she admitted to being the driver of the car when she received the notice of intended prosecution.
However her political career is now likely over after she claimed to have left the form at her mother’s house and did not know who was driving the car.
But both of Ms Onasanya’s phones were in the car when it was caught by speed cameras, proving she was at least in the car at the time, and the court heard how neither Ms Onasanya, who had already completed a speed awareness course for an earlier offence, or her brother, who already had nine points on his licence and would have faced losing his job, wanted to accept responsibility.
When the second penalty notice arrived she colluded with her brother Festus, who was a delivery driver, to pin the blame on Mr Antipow but Mr Onasanya admitted perverting the course of justice in what prosecutors believe was an attempt for him to get his sister off the charge.
However two days into the trial Ms Onasanya’s former communications manager was reading about the case and remembered how she had driven to their house alone on the night in question.
Published at Fri, 28 Dec 2018 20:18:00 +0000