The Brexit-supporting media have rounded on MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya after her vote proved crucial in forcing the Government to call for a delay to leaving the EU.
In the 24 hours after Wednesday’s night vote in the House of Commons sections of the national press have singled out the disgraced MP, who was one of 313 to back the extension, meaning the bill passed by a single vote.
The fury is because Ms Onasanya was sentenced to three months in prison earlier this year for perverting the course of justice, although she only served four weeks.
The independent MP - who was expelled by Labour after her conviction for lying about who was driving her car when it was caught speeding - has continued to vote since leaving prison, but this is the first time her vote has made a crucial difference in the Commons.
A Recall Petition is currently running in Peterborough. If 10 per cent of Ms Onasanya’s constituents sign it before 5pm on May 1 she will lose her seat, triggering a by-election.
Wednesday night’s bill presented by Labour MP Yvette Cooper aimed to prevent a no deal Brexit.
Explaining why she voted for it, Ms Onasanya tweeted: “Tonight I voted to extend Art 50. I previously voted for CM2.0, (which was rejected) along with other options in the hope that a compromise deal could be struck.
“HOWEVER we have to strive to find a way forward, I could not support crashing out. HOW we leave is important so compromise is the key.”
Since the vote a number of national columnists have rounded on Ms Onasanya.
Allison Pearson in The Telegraph wrote: “Previously, Ms Onasanya had limited herself to perverting the course of justice; now, she took a giant step forward and perverted the course of British history.”
She added: “Even after the frankly demented activities of the past few days, this is a scarcely credible plot development,” before later quoting a colleague who described Ms Onasanya as “a ‘perfectly pleasant’ councillor, ‘completely vacant and not the brightest button in the sewing box’.”
Tom Harris in the same paper wrote: “Today there’s a new one for Brexit obsessives to consider: what if disgraced Labour MP Fiona Onasanya had served three months in prison for perverting the course of justice, instead of being released after four weeks? The answer is that Britain would, more than likely, be heading towards a no-deal Brexit next week.”
The headline accompanying the column read: “Fiona Onasanya is a disgrace, but she’s just one of 313 MPs who voted to sabotage Brexit.”
Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail wrote: “Just when you thought Parliament couldn’t sink any lower, along comes jailbird MP Fiona Onasanya to cast the deciding vote in favour of the latest Stop Brexit manoeuvre.”
He added: “We now live in a country where the vote of a single, disgraced MP outweighs the votes of 17.4 million people in a referendum.”
A Mail Online article had the headline: “Fury as disgraced ex-Labour MP Fiona Onasanya helps Remainer rebels to victory by ONE VOTE on law to stop No Deal Brexit.”
On a similar theme, the Daily Express ran an online column with the headline: “Anger as disgraced Labour MP votes for Brexit no deal block - and it wins by ONE VOTE.”
The Evening Standard also had its say - “Fiona Onasanya: Backlash as disgraced ex-Labour MP backs bill to seek Brexit delay that passed by just one vote.”
A leader column from The Sun had the online headline: “We have sunk to a new low — the course of Brexit may have just been decided by the vote of a convicted criminal.”
It said Ms Onasanya playing an influential role in Brexit votes is the “last straw for our democracy’s credibility”.
The UK has already been granted an extension to the Article 50 process to leave the bloc on April 12, but Theresa May has now requested a further delay to Brexit until June 30.
It is up to the EU to decide whether to offer an extension, and under what terms.