SDP choose Brexiteer and former Daily Express political editor to fight Peterborough seat

Staunch Brexiteer and former Daily Express political editor Patrick O’Flynn will contest the Peterborough seat when it is next vacant.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 8:15 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:45 pm

The MEP, who was previously economics spokesman for UKIP, will represent the SDP (Social Democratic Party) which has positioned itself as a Leave party.

Mr O’Flynn has his office in Peterborough, and he told the Peterborough Telegraph a fortnight ago: “I think the people of Peterborough, particularly those that voted for Brexit, but also anyone that believes in democracy, will feel the establishment parties are betraying it in front of our eyes.

“I want to give the people of Peterborough a pro-Brexit, democratic choice.”

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Patrick O'Flynn

Mr O’Flynn defected from UKIP in November after it employed EDL co-founder Tommy Robinson as an adviser on rape gangs and prison reform.

He added: “The vast majority of Brexit voters are not supportive of Tommy Robinson and do not want to lend their support to that kind of political approach.

“Many people passionate about Brexit will not want to vote for my old party but won’t want to be stuck between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. I’m determined to give them somebody to vote for.”

Every party apart from Labour has now selected its candidate for the Peterborough seat in anticipation of a by-election following the conviction of sitting MP Fiona Onasanya for perverting the course of justice.

Ms Onasanya, who was expelled by the Labour Party after her conviction, is due to be sentenced on Tuesday at the Old Bailey.

If she is sentenced to a year or less in prison (including if it is a suspended sentence) it would trigger a recall petition - but this could not begin until her appeal against the conviction has ended, which could take several months.

If Ms Onasanya was sentenced to longer than a year in prison she would automatically lose her seat as an MP under the Representation of the People Act 1981.

This would trigger a by-election.