Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya misses second Brexit vote - but promises to reject final EU deal

Fiona Onasanya has missed a second vote relating to Brexit in consecutive days.

Thursday, 10th January 2019, 9:31 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 3:11 pm
Fiona Onasanya in Peterborough following her conviction. Photo: Terry Harris

The under fire MP for Peterborough failed to vote on Tuesday on a crucial amendment to the Finance Bill which limits ministers’ ability to make tax changes connected to a no deal Brexit without Parliament’s “explicit consent”.

And yesterday she did not vote again, this time on an amendment which would require the Government to come back within three days, rather than 21, to debate the implications of not having a Brexit deal if the prime minister’s deal is voted down next Tuesday.

The Government lost both votes as opposition members - and Conservative rebels - helped pass the amendments.

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Fiona Onasanya in Peterborough following her conviction. Photo: Terry Harris

The lack of action from Ms Onasanya is in contrast to her column in today’s Peterborough Telegraph where she makes it clear she will vote down the EU withdrawal agreement when it comes before MPs.

She wrote: “There is no possible way I could vote for this botched Brexit deal in good faith.”

Ms Onasanya is waiting to be sentenced for perverting the course of justice after a jury found her unanimously guilty of lying about who was driving her Nissan Micra when it was clocked speeding in Thorney.

She has so far failed to make any reference to the trial and has continually avoided answering questions from the Peterborough Telegraph on both the trial and other matters relating to her duties as MP.

Her only public comments have come from her columns for our paper, including the fact she wants to continue as an MP after her sentencing.

However, that decision may be taken out of her hands depending on the length of the sentence she receives.

Having failed to receive a response as to why Ms Onasanya did not vote on the Finance Bill and the amendments to it, or whether she was in Parliament at the time, the PT has asked her this morning via her spokesman why she did not vote yesterday and if she was present in the House of Commons.

The PT has also asked whether she is continuing as an MP just to keep receiving her annual salary of £77,379.

So far there has been no response.

Ms Onasanya is currently sitting as an independent MP after being expelled by the Labour Party following her conviction at the Old Bailey.

Her column in today’s PT is the first time she has made any reference to the fact that she is no longer a Labour member, but once again there is no reference to her conviction.

Her Twitter profile has also been changed to remove any mention of Labour.

The Old Bailey said yesterday a date for her sentencing has not yet been set.

If Ms Onasanya is sentenced to a year or more in prison (including if it is suspended) then she will lose her seat. Any custodial or suspended sentence of less than a year, once the appeal process has ended, would automatically trigger a recall petition.

Ms Onasanya’s brother Festus is due to be sentenced on the same day as her after pleading guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice, including in relation to his sister’s case.

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara voted both times with the Government to oppose the two amendments, as did Brexit Secretary and North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay, South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes and Corby and East Northamptonshire MP Tom Pursglove.

However, Granthan & Stamford MP Nick Boles and Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly were among the rebel Conservatives to vote for both amendments.

Mr Boles revealed yesterday that he received a death threat following the vote on the Finance Bill amendment.