Disgraced MP Onasanya can return for Brexit votes after leaving prison

Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya can return to Parliament to take part in crucial Brexit votes after being released from prison.

The Peterborough MP, who has been expelled by the Labour Party, was driven out of HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Surrey, on Tuesday after serving a month of her prison sentence.

Having been freed under an early release scheme, it is almost certain the Remainer will be wearing an electronic tag as part of strict conditions if she attends Wednesday’s Commons debates and votes.

It also emerged on Tuesday that police are investigating reports of emails and letters with a “disgusting racial element” directed at Ms Onasanya on the day she was jailed.

She was sentenced to three months imprisonment at the Old Bailey on January 29 after being convicted of perverting the course of justice by lying to avoid a speeding charge.

Leaving prison, the 35-year-old sat in the back of a white Vauxhall with her window covered by a high-visibility jacket as she was whisked past photographers at speed.

The Labour Party is among those calling for the resignation of the MP with a once-promising political career, but she will continue to represent Peterborough as an Independent.

This is because her jail sentence did not meet the 12-month minimum for an instant dismissal.

A by-election can be triggered if a recall petition is signed by 10% of the electorate in the constituency, but this cannot begin until her appeal against conviction ends.

Fiona Onasanya court case
Fiona Onasanya court case

Judges at the Court of Appeal in London will hear the case on March 5 before deciding whether to allow the appeal to continue or refuse its progress.

Police in Cambridgeshire and South Yorkshire said they are investigating “reports of malicious communications” sent on January 29.

In a statement, Ms Onasanya’s communications officer Matt Turner said: “Many of these emails and letters have a disgusting racial element to them.

“This despicable and threatening behaviour is unacceptable and we welcome an investigation.”

Ms Onasanya, a solicitor, still received her £77,379 salary while in jail despite missing votes in the Commons.

Fiona Onasanya court case
Fiona Onasanya court case

She left prison after the Attorney General’s Office ruled that her sentence was not unduly lenient following a complaint being lodged.

Jurors at the Old Bailey were told that she colluded with her brother Festus after her car was clocked speeding at 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney, near Peterborough, in July 2017.

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.

Festus Onasanya was sentenced to 10 months after he pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice over speeding, including the July 24 incident.

Neither of Ms Onasanya’s offices in her constituency or Westminster responded to requests for comment on when she would return to the Commons.