In a dramatic end to the year, the Labour MP Fiona Onasanya was found guilty on Wednesday of perverting the course of justice, after a court found that she had lied to police about speeding to avoid putting points on her driving license. Bizarrely, the MP has since compared herself to Jesus and Moses, and hinted that she may continue on as an MP even though she has had the Labour whip withdrawn.
But even if Onasanya is not the Messiah, she will still need God on her side in the new year, when she returns to court to be sentenced for her crimes. There, a judge will have the difficult task of weighing up whether the honourable Member for Peterborough deserves to go to jail – Onasanya potentially faces a prison term of up to four years.
However the judge may weigh up the merits of sending parliament’s finest to the slammer, Mr Steerpike invites readers in the meantime to consider a fine interjection made by one… Fiona Osanaya on the subject of law and order in the House of Commons earlier this year. On 2 July, in a debate on the subject of pet theft, Onasanya made this convincing plea in the Chamber for ministers to consider raising the sentence for a serious crime:
‘I want to highlight something that I hope the Minister will cover. The lower the category, the lower the sentence, with little in the way of repercussions. That makes the crime even more attractive because it is low risk and high reward, so that needs to be borne in mind when looking at sentencing.’
Mr S for one, couldn’t agree more. It should be the court’s responsibility to keep both pet thieves and MPs off the streets as a matter of course.