NEW laws are needed to automatically boot out MPs who are jailed in wake of the Fiona Onasanya scandal – an ex-Policing Minister claimed yesterday.
Sir Mike Penning said the former Labour whip had brought Parliament into “disrepute” by refusing to quit as an MP despite being jailed for three months for lying to police to avoid a speeding charge.
Speaking in the Commons yesterday he blasted: “My constituents and other constituents around the country do not understand how anybody can be convicted of a crime and still be a member of this House and be in prison.
“The police officers that protect us here, they lose their pensions, they lose everything.
“Something is seriously wrong.”
He called on the Government to “change the law that allows the public to believe what we do is right and if you go to prison you shouldn’t be in this House”.
Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said it was wrong for Ms Onasanya to carry on as MP for Peterborough but stopped short of agreeing to a law change.
She said: “I do agree that it’d be right for that member to stand down and allow her local residents to choose a new member of Parliament.”
Meanwhile Ms Onasanya sentence could be extended after a complaint that it is unduly lenient.
‘SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG’
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 the sentence is found to be unduly lenient, the case will be referred to the Court of Appeal which will decide whether or not to increase it.
Parliamentary rules require the removal of an MP who is jailed for 12 months or more.
A lesser sentence can result in a recall petition, which can force a by-election if it is signed by more than 10% of the electorate in the constituency.
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Onasanya, an Independent after being expelled by the Labour Party, is appealing against her conviction.
Jurors at the Old Bailey heard that Onasanya colluded with her brother Festus after her car was clocked doing 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney, near Peterborough, in July 2017.
The court was told that she was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) to fill out, but it was sent back naming the guilty driver as Aleks Antipow, an acquaintance of her brother, who was away visiting his parents in Russia.
Her brother received 10 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice over speeding, including over the July 24 incident.
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