Cambridgeshire

Fiona Onasanya: Speeding MP's jail term 'not unduly lenient'

Fiona Onasanya Image copyright PA
Image caption The Old Bailey was told Fiona Onasanya had been texting on her phone when she was spotted speeding, in July 2017

The three-month jail sentence handed out to an MP convicted of lying was not unduly lenient, the attorney general's office has concluded.

Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya had denied being behind the wheel when her car was spotted being driven at 41mph in a 30mph zone, in July 2017.

She was found guilty of perverting the course of justice in December.

The solicitor general reviewed the sentence after a complaint it was too lenient, but found it was not.

The MP was found guilty of lying to police about a speeding ticket and handed a three-month jail term at the Old Bailey in January.

The attorney general's office confirmed it would be reviewing the case after it "received a request for the case of Fiona Onasanya to be considered under the unduly lenient sentence scheme".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The MP's Nissan Micra was caught by a speed camera in Thorney

If deemed unduly lenient, a case would be referred to the Court of Appeal which would then decide whether or not to increase the sentence.

Anyone can make a request to the attorney general's office, and only one request is required for a sentence to be reviewed.

A spokeswoman for the office confirmed the review had now been completed.

"After careful consideration the solicitor general has concluded that he could not refer this case to the Court of Appeal.

"A referral... can only be made if a sentence is not just lenient but unduly so," she said.

"The threshold is a high one, and the test was not met in this case."

Onasanya - who has said she intends to appeal against her conviction - is the first sitting MP to be jailed since Terry Fields was sentenced to 60 days for failing to pay his £373 poll tax bill in 1991.

She was thrown out of the Labour Party when she was convicted in December.

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