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Labour expels Fiona Onasanya and vows to push for by-election after her conviction for lying to police

2 min read

Fiona Onasanya has been expelled from the Labour party following her conviction for perverting the course of justice, it has been confirmed.

Party chairman Ian Lavery revealed that the Peterborough MP - who was last month found guilty of lying to the police to avoid a speeding charge - had her Labour membership ripped up after refusing to step down voluntarily and allow a by-election to take place.

Mr Lavery said Labour would "actively support" a local bid to remove her from office.

Ms Onasanya, who was a Labour whip until her conviction, has vowed to continue as MP in the seat she won by just 607 votes from the Conservatives in 2017.

But Mr Lavery told the Peterborough Telegraph: "Fiona isn't a member of the Labour party, she isn't a Labour MP. People here in Peterborough voted for a Labour MP.

"She was suspended from the Labour party and she was expected to resign. She hasn't resigned, regrettably.

"We would still at this very last moment suggest the best thing would be for Fiona to act responsibly and resign her position as a Member of Parliament."

The Labour chairman meanwhile said the party was "raring to go" for a by-election in the Peterborough seat, adding: "We're up for it."

"The people in Peterborough want a Labour MP - they voted for a Labour MP the last time and I'm absolutely confident from what we have to offer we would win a by-election in the very near future if one was to be held," he said.

And he pledged Labour's full backing for a recall petition to oust Ms Onasanya as a Peterborough's MP.

Under Parliamentary rules, 10% of the constituency's voters would need to sign such a petition to trigger a by-election.

Although Ms Onasanya has been convicted of perverting the course of justice, she could stay on as an MP unless she is sentenced to more than a year in jail. A date for her sentencing at the Old Bailey has yet to be fixed.

However, the MP has already vowed to stay on in Parliament, telling her constituents in a Peterborough Herald column: "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."

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