Row breaks out between Fiona Onasanya office staff and senior Peterborough city councillor over Facebook comments

A row has broken out between staff working for MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya and one of the leading city councillors.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 8:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 8:56 am
Cllr David Seaton

Office staff for the independent MP are unhappy with Conservative Cllr David Seaton, the man in charge of the finances at Peterborough City Council, due to comments he put on Facebook following Ms Onasanya’s imprisonment for perverting the course of justice.

Cllr Seaton said that her office was still in place and “costing a large amount of money, with a group of Labour activists in it not having a lot to do. I wonder if Labour locally could tell us if they are going to cut that cost?”

Parliamentary assistant Samuel Sweek said Ms Onasanya’s office wrote to council leader Cllr John Holdich seeking to “request a clarification to the incorrect statements made”.

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

He added: “This issue was not about Fiona Onasanya and solely about intentionally misleading people on matters regarding our office.”

Cllr Holdich apologised for “any offence taken by your staff”, but Cllr Seaton has since published further comments on Facebook which Ms Onasanya’s office are unhappy with.

Mr Sweek, who does not believe the issue is being taken seriously at the council, said: “It seems that Cllr Seaton has persisted to spread misinformation regarding staff. This is completely unacceptable and uncalled for and continues to bring Peterborough City Council into disrepute.”

Cllr Seaton commented that he had never said Ms Onasanya’s staff were paid directly by Labour, as Mr Sweek claimed, but that they were all Labour activists and that some could resign and save taxpayers’ money. He said his second post questioned how busy staff could be when they have time to write critical posts about a senior Labour city councillor.

He stated: “Members of Fiona Onasanya’s office have consistently mixed up their Labour politics, support for Fiona Onasanya and virulent attacks on political opponents, including both the local Labour leadership and Conservatives, with their role serving Peterborough residents.

“I make no apologies for challenging them on that.”