Cambridgeshire

Fiona Onasanya: Peterborough MP's jail term to be reviewed

Fiona Onasanya Image copyright PA
Image caption The Old Bailey was told Fiona Onasanya had been texting on her phone when she was spotted speeding, in July 2017

An MP's jail term for lying to police over a speeding ticket is being reviewed after a complaint it was unduly lenient.

Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya had denied being behind the wheel when her car was spotted being driven at 41mph in a 30mph zone, in July 2017.

She was convicted at the Old Bailey of perverting the course of justice and jailed for three months on Tuesday.

The Attorney General's Office confirmed it was reviewing the case.

Onasanya - who has said she intends to appeal against her conviction - is the first sitting MP to be jailed since Terry Fields was sentenced to 60 days for failing to pay his £373 poll tax bill in 1991.

She was thrown out of the Labour Party when she was convicted in December.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The MP's Nissan Micra was caught by a speed camera in Thorney

A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office said: "We have received a request for the case of Fiona Onasanya to be considered under the unduly lenient sentence scheme."

"The Law Officers have 28 days from sentencing to consider the case."

If deemed unduly lenient, the case will be referred to the Court of Appeal which will decide whether or not to increase the sentence.

Anyone can make a request to the Attorney General's Office, and only one request is required for a sentence to be reviewed.

Onasanya was elected as Labour MP for Peterborough in June 2017, six weeks before committing the offence, in Thorney, Cambridgeshire.

Her brother Festus was jailed for 10 months for his involvement, after pleading guilty to the same charge.

After Festus falsely filled out her Notice of Intended Prosecution, Onasanya made the "disastrous decision" to keep up the lie from November 2017, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said when sentencing her.

The prosecution told the court she went on to collude with her brother to avoid being subject to the speeding ticket.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Festus Onasanya was jailed for 10 months after admitting perverting the course of justice

When Onasanya was elected, she ousted Conservative Stewart Jackson who had held the seat for 12 years.

Under parliamentary rules, a sentence of 12 months or more would have seen the MP automatically lose her seat.

A Recall Petition - which can force a by-election if signed by more than 10 per cent of the Peterborough electorate - cannot be opened until the appeal process is complete.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites