Fiona Onasanya won't contest Peterborough seat

3 May 2019, 18:04 | Updated: 3 May 2019, 18:06

Peterborough MP

Disgraced former Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya has said she will not stand in the city's forthcoming by-election.

It comes after the leader of Peterborough City Council cited her as a possible reason for people not voting in Thursday's local elections.

Ms Onasanya, who was elected as a Labour MP in 2017, served 28 days in prison for lying about a speeding offence.

She became the first MP to be unseated from the Commons in a recall petition on Wednesday and a by-election will be held next month (6th June 2019).

She wrote on Twitter that she "will not be seeking to stand in the by-election".

To those who sent racially abusive, threatening, bullying, derogatory and vulgar remarks... I will clear my name and I was willing and able to continue as long as constituents wished for me to do so," she said.

Therefore, in light of the recall result, I will not be seeking to stand in the by-election".

She added that she wanted to "encourage every person seeking to be the change they wish to see by saying this: You can do it - the sky is not the limit when there are footsteps on the moon!"

She then posted a link to a local newspaper article with the headline Fiona Onasanya's time as Peterborough MP in pictures.

The Conservatives lost Peterborough City Council to no overall control in Thursday's elections after three years in charge of the consistently marginal authority.

The Tories now hold 28 of 60 seats on the council after the party lost three seats to Labour and one each to the Green Party and Lib Dems, but also gained one seat from Labour.

John Holdich, the council's Conservative leader, said:

"The Onasanya affair had a reflection on it because the electorate were saying they weren't going to vote at all."

He said that it was "very disappointing" to lose control but "on the face of it the electorate of Peterborough said they weren't going to vote but they did and I'm very pleased about that".

He added:

"The other thing was the situation in Europe and I think that's reflected in all parties apart from the Lib Dems in Peterborough.

And if you look at history, when a Government's in power you lose seats."

He noted that in some wards the Conservative vote went up, adding: "You must say the Conservatives have a chance of winning the by-election."

Ukip lost the only seat it held on the council to the Lib Dems. Labour remain the second largest group on the council with 17 seats, followed by the Lib Dems with nine.