Cambridgeshire

Fiona Onasanya: Ex-Peterborough MP tells of prison struggles

Fiona Onasanya Image copyright PA

A former MP who was jailed for perverting the course of justice has written about her struggles in prison.

Fiona Onasanya said she found interrupted sleep, "measly meals like spaghetti hoops" and a lack of almond milk hard during her month behind bars.

The ex-Peterborough MP for Labour was jailed in January 2019 and became the first to be removed by a recall petition in May.

She now hopes to "become a voice" for the women she met in prison.

Ms Onasanya became the first sitting MP in nearly three decades to be jailed when she was convicted of lying to police over a speeding ticket. She was given a three-month sentence and served a month of it.

Her brother Festus Onasanya was jailed for 10 months after pleading guilty to the same charge.

'This ain't Costa'

Ms Onasanya's book is described as a "candid account of life both behind and beyond the door as a sitting MP".

She recalls her naivety about the legal high Spice, claiming she told a prison officer she used it "all the time", after assuming he meant "seasonings like salt and pepper".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ms Onasanya was convicted in January 2019 at the Old Bailey

During her first breakfast at HMP Bronzefield in Middlesex she claims she was ridiculed by another inmate, who shouted "This ain't Costa" after she asked for almond milk or "soya if there's no alternatives".

She also writes about feeling "flabbergasted" by another prisoner dancing naked near the showers and her struggle to understand sexual prison slang.

The ex-solicitor said she helped fellow inmates with drafting letters and reading over case papers during her sentence, which "seemingly passed quite quickly".

The 122-page memoir, Snakes and Adders, also deals with Ms Onasanya's decision to join the Labour Party and how she became an MP.

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