Final day for Peterborough voters to recall MP Fiona Onasanya - this is when the result is expected

The Recall Petition for Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya closes at 5pm today (Wednesday, May 1).

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 7:00 am
MP Fiona Onsanya arriving home after leaving prison. 
Picture by Terry Harris
MP Fiona Onsanya arriving home after leaving prison. Picture by Terry Harris

The petition, which will cost the Government approximately £500,000, was automatically triggered after the independent MP failed to overturn a conviction for perverting the course of justice after lying about who was driving her car when it was caught speeding in Thorney in July 2017.

She was sentenced to three months in prison for the crime but only served four weeks before being released on licence.

Labour expelled her the day after her conviction.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

MP Fiona Onsanya arriving home after leaving prison. Picture by Terry Harris

The Recall Petition opened on Tuesday, March 19 and lasts for six weeks, with constituents able to sign it at one of 10 signing places, or by posting in a postal signing form.

If 10 per cent (6,967 people) of Ms Onasanya’s constituents sign it then she will lose her seat and a by-election will be called.

The by-election would have to be held between 21 and 27 working days of it being triggered.

The six week period for the petition to be open has been extended by two days as signing places were not open on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

That means constituents have until 5pm today to register their signatures.

Once the deadline has passed the council will count that day’s signatures and reach a final total for the six week period.

It will then alert the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow before publishing the result. This is expected to be later this evening.

Only a few people know the running tally of signatures, and the petition remains open for the whole six weeks, even if the threshold to trigger the by-election is reached.

Ms Onasanya has continued to protest her innocence despite losing her appeal over her conviction. The day before the petition opened the MP released a video where, sitting in front of a backdrop of New York, she pleaded with constituents not to kick her out of office, adding: “I will continue to be your voice for change in Parliament for as long as you wish me to do so.”

Ms Onasanya was seen as a rising star in the Labour Party before her conviction after being promoted to become a whip.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also campaigned alongside her in 2017 in the run-up to her election victory.

Mr Corbyn was back in the city on Saturday campaigning ahead of Thursday’s local elections.

Asked whether he wanted residents to sign the Recall Petition, he replied: “They should sign it.

He added: “I’m very sad with what happened to her, but we have to move on.”