‘Fiona Onasanya, the MP found guilty of lying to avoid a speeding ticket, has become the first parliamentarian to be removed from office after a recall petition, triggering a byelection in her Peterborough seat.
Nigel Farage’s Brexit party will field its first parliamentary candidate in the seat, which voted 60-40 to leave the EU. The bellwether constituency usually swings behind the party that wins a general election.
More than one in four registered voters – 27.64% – signed an official notice calling for the removal of Onasanya, according to a spokesperson for Peterborough city council. This was well above the 10% threshold.
The Speaker, John Bercow, announced in the House of Commons on Wednesday night that the petition had been successful. “Fiona Onasanya is no longer the member for Peterborough and the seat is accordingly vacant,” he told the Commons.
Onasanya, 35, will automatically stop receiving her parliamentary salary, expenses and pension payments, said a spokesman for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. She becomes a preserved member of the pension scheme but can no longer contribute to it.
Onasanya, a solicitor, committed Christian and supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, was plucked from political obscurity to stand in the Cambridgeshire city in 2017.
She is still to face a misconduct tribunal, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has confirmed, which could mean that she could no longer practise in law.’