Labour MP Fiona Onasanya faces possible jail term for lying to avoid speeding charge

Labour MP Fiona Onasanya is facing a possible jail term after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice after lying to police in an attempt to avoid a speeding charge.

The 35-year-old solicitor was accused of colluding with her brother Festus after her car was clocked going 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney, near Peterborough.

She was elected to the House of Commons in June 2017 with a majority of 600 votes and promoted to a whip – but stood down from the role last month.

Labour have removed the whip from Onasanya and say she should now resign.

The MP for Peterborough was texting as well as speeding on the evening of Monday 24 July last year, during the summer Commons recess, the Old Bailey heard.

Prosecutor David Jeremy QC told the jury she went on to lie “persistently and deliberately” to avoid prosecution.

Festus Onasanya, 34, from Cambridge, had pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice to avoid speeding points.

But his sister, who was elected in June 2017, denied a single count of perverting the course of justice.

She was found guilty following a retrial.

A Labour spokesperson confirmed Onasanya was having the whip removed “with immediate effect” and said they were “deeply disappointed in” her behaviour.

“It falls well below what is expected of politicians and she should now resign,” they added.

Donna Rayner, of the CPS, said: “Fiona Onasanya and her brother Festus both lied to the authorities in the hope they could avoid the consequences of their speeding offences.

“Fiona Onsanya denied perverting the course of justice but the CPS presented evidence that her phone was in the area when the speeding took place and the man she had nominated as the driver was, in fact, out of the country.

“Clearly the jury did not believe her explanation.”

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: “We will continue to investigate those who think it is acceptable to try and evade the law in relation to motoring offences, working closely with the CPS to ensure those responsible are prosecuted.”

Onasanya will be sentenced alongside her brother on a date yet to be determined.

If she doesn’t receive a custodial sentence of more than a year she can sit as an independent if she chooses to resign from the Labour party.

There is automatic disqualification if a member receives a custodial sentence of more than one year.

Onasanya is the second MP in recent years to end up in court for perverting the course of justice in an apparent effort to avoid speeding points on their driving licence.

Liberal Democrat minister Chris Huhne was sentenced to eight months after pleading guilty in 2013.

Sky News

One thought on “Labour MP Fiona Onasanya faces possible jail term for lying to avoid speeding charge”

  1. Chris Huhne pleaded guilty whereas Onasanya pleaded not guilty. I assume she will therefore receive a longer term than eight months?. Perhaps she will just be given a good telling off by the judge and told to go about her business! I await the sentence and expect her to be jailed, as I would be, should I lie to the police, the public and the court.

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