EDITOR’S COMMENT: A ‘travesty’ Fiona Onasanya remains Peterborough MP behind bars

Peterborough’s MP is behind bars - making it impossible for her to carry out the duties she was elected to do at one of the country’s most critical periods in politics.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 1:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 8:05 pm
Fiona Onasanya arrives at court

The three-month jail sentence - farcically - means she can carry on as a member of the political elite drawing salary and pension contributions. Her appeal means it could be many months before a recall petition could be implemented giving the electorate the chance to remove her.

It may be that another General Election is called before all that can happen.

It was admitted in court that Fiona Onasanya is continuing as an independent MP because it is her only source of income. We have great sympathy for her staff who are continuing to do their best for constituents in the most difficult of circumstances.

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Fiona Onasanya arrives at court

Onasanya has the right to appeal and defend herself, but she should resign and do that. For an individual elected as a politician focused on social issues and the needs of the people, she has taken a cold-blooded decision to bank her salary while being unable to fulfil those needs.

We can have sympathy for the personal tragedy that has hit Onasanya - her political career, legal career and personal reputation are in tatters. That has happened through her own colossal errors of judgement.

The sorry mess that she and her brother got themselves into has evaporated any confidence anyone had in her ability to carry out political duties at any level.

She sought public office, and the most important thing about public office is the public. Fiona Onasanya is ignoring that, and it is a travesty that the rules allow her to continue to do that.

Mark Edwards, Peterborough Telegraph editor