Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya freed after one month in jail

The car containing Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya leaves HMP Bronzefield, less than four weeks after she was jailed for three months for perverting the course of justice after lying to police to avoid a speeding charge.
The car containing Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya leaves HMP Bronzefield, less than four weeks after she was jailed for three months for perverting the course of justice after lying to police to avoid a speeding charge.

Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya has been released from prison after serving a month of her sentence for perverting the course of justice.

The MP for Peterborough, who was expelled by the Labour Party, did not comment as she was driven out of HMP Bronzefield in Ashford in Surrey on Tuesday morning.

Now free, the vocal Remainer will be able to take part in Wednesday's Commons debates and votes on Brexit despite facing calls to stand down.

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 Sodexo-branded Vauxhall with her window covered by a hi-vis jacket as she was whisked past photographers at speed.

The Labour Party are 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 Onasanya's appeal against her conviction ends.

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.

Officers in Cambridgeshire and South Yorkshire said they are investigating following "reports of malicious communications" sent on January 29.

The Peterborough Telegraph reported that 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."

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

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

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 Onasanya 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 in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice over speeding, including over the July 24 incident.

Neither of Fiona Onasanya's offices in her constituency or Westminster responded to requests for comment on when she would be returning to the Commons.