Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya to be prosecuted by Solicitor’s Regulation Authority for ‘failing to act with integrity’

Fiona Onasanya entering court. Photo: Terry Harris
Fiona Onasanya entering court. Photo: Terry Harris

Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya is being prosecuted by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority for ‘failing to act with integrity.’

A tribunal will take place to look at what - if any - disciplinary action will be taken by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) following Ms Onasanya’s conviction for perverting the course of justice in December last year, which resulted in a three month jail sentence.

Along with an allegation she failed to act with integrity, it is alleged she also failed to uphold the proper administration of justice and failed to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in her and the provision of legal services - all in connection with her conviction at The Old Bailey last year.

A spokesman for the SRA said: “The Solicitors Regulation Authority is prosecuting Fiona Onasanya at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The allegations against Ms Onasanya are listed here: https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/solicitor-check/391606.article?Decision=2019-02-28. As stated, these are allegations and as yet unproven.”

A date has not yet been set for the hearing, which will take place at the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal in London.

For action to be taken, the tribunal would have to be sure beyond reasonable doubt the allegations were proven.

Ms Onasanya denies she perverted the course of justice, and following her release from the prison sentence, she said she would continue to fight to clear her name, despite the Court of Appeal refusing her grounds to appeal.

If Ms Onasanya does succeed in overturning her conviction, the tribunal proceedings can be stopped - or the disciplinary penalty, which could include an unlimited fine, suspension or being struck off - could be overturned.

While Ms Onasanya is still on the Solicitors’ Roll, she has been a ‘non practising solicitor’ since she decided not to renew her practising certificate in 2017 following her election as MP for Peterborough.

All solicitor’s must abide by the SRA’s Code of Conduct.

The code of conduct reads as follows:

You must:

1: Uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice;

2: Act with integrity;

3: Not allow your independence to be compromised;

4: Act in the best interests of each client;

5: Provide a proper standard of service to your clients;

6: Behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services;

7: Comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner;

8: Run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles;

9: Run your business or carry out your role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity;

10: protect client money and assets.

Last week Ms Onasanya was cleared of discriminating against a former employee at an employment tribunal in Cambridge.

The Peterborough Telegraph has contacted Ms Onasanya for comment.