Stewart Jackson and Fiona Onasanya – compare and contrast

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Stewart Jackson, love him or loathe him – and there were plenty in both camps – was always going to be a hard act to follow.

Labour’s Fiona Onasanya was the act that followed when she became MP for Peterborough last June after defeating Tory Mr Jackson by 607 votes.

With three successful elections behind him, Mr Jackson was a seasoned MP.

Putting aside party politics and the controversy that came with some of Mr Jackson’s, er, robust views, I came across several people who praised him for his unheralded work helping constituents with issues that didn’t always make the pages of newspapers.

Ms Onasanya by contrast is a novice. Whispers had reached Telegraph Towers that some constituents were unhappy with her response, or lack of it, to their queries.

In her interview in this week’s PT I’m glad to see she has explained that situation.

Setting up her office has proved a lengthy and difficult process but she hopes those problems will soon be over.

MPs spend a lot of time talking – we expect them to debate the big issues– but what they do is just as important.

In fact, their ‘off camera’ actions can tell you a lot about them.

I was very impressed when Mr Jackson tackled a drunken yob who was vandalising a bus shelter and ended up getting a kick for his troubles.

And I was very impressed when I witnessed an act of kindness from Ms Onasanya.

I was walking through the city centre when I spotted our new MP about 20 yards ahead of me. We were heading in the same direction (I wasn’t stalking her!) when she stopped and put a £10 note in the hand of a homeless man.

Yes, I’m sure she can afford it, but it seemed like a class act to me.