Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya leaves prison after four weeks

Fiona Onasanya arrives at court
Fiona Onasanya arrives at court
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Disgraced MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya has walked out of prison today, four weeks after she was jailed for three months for perverting the course of justice.

The MP, who was kicked out of the Labour Party over the case, has refused to stand down and trigger a by-election in her seat.

She was driven out of HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Surrey, this morning (Tuesday) under an early-release scheme and could appear in the Commons for tomorrow’s crucial Brexit voting.

Onasanya sat in the back of a white Vauxhall with the closest window to her covered by a hi-vis jacket as it drove past photographers at speed.

The Daily Mail reported that she would be made to wear an ankle tag as part of her early release programme.

The 35-year-old solicitor was jailed on January 29 after she was convicted at the Old Bailey.

News of her release comes a day after a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office that the sentence given to her was unduly lenient was rejected.

The Attorney General’s Office said on Monday: “After careful consideration, the Solicitor General has concluded that he could not refer this case to the Court of Appeal.

“A referral under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme to the Court of Appeal can only be made if a sentence is not just lenient but unduly so, such that the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range of sentences reasonably available in the circumstances of the offence.

“The threshold is a high one and the test was not met in this case.”

Under parliamentary rules only MPs jailed for 12 months or more are automatically kicked out of the Commons.

Onasanya’s refusal to quit her seat has drawn criticism both from all parties.

Jurors at the Old Bailey heard that Onasanya colluded with her brother Festus after her car was clocked doing 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney in July 2017.

The court was told that she was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution to fill out, but it was sent back naming the guilty driver as Aleks Antipow, an acquaintance of her brother, who was away visiting his parents in Russia.

Her brother received 10 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice over speeding, including over the July 24 incident.

Onasanya is appealing against her conviction. Should the appeal fail it will automatically open up a recall petition. If 10 per cent of her constituents signed it within a six week period then it would trigger a by-election.