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Fiona Onasanya: Convicted British MP could still receive €88,000 salary in prison

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By Chris Harris
Credit: Chris McAndrew/House of Commons
Credit: Chris McAndrew/House of Commons

British MP Fiona Onasanya is still likely to receive her £77,000 (€88,000) annual salary even while she serves a three-month prison sentence.

On Tuesday, Onasanya became the first sitting British member of parliament to be jailed for nearly three decades.

The 35-year-old was convicted of perverting the course of justice after lying to police about a speeding ticket.

She had denied being behind the wheel of her car as it was captured moving at 41mph (66km/h) in a 30mph (48km/h) zone in July 2017.

Onasanya, who had only been elected as Peterborough’s MP a month earlier, has said she will appeal the conviction.

If she had been jailed for more than 12 months, she would have automatically lost her seat in the UK parliament.

But, because her sentence is under this limit, she can continue as an MP even while serving time inside.

This means she will also continue to receive the £77,379 (€88,630) annual salary given to British MPs.

This would only change if she resigns, is suspended by parliament, or enough of Onasanya’s constituents call on her to step down.

New rules introduced in 2015 means convicted MPs can be ousted if at least 10% of constituents sign a petition.

Justice Stuart-Smith, sentencing Onasanya, said: “The fact remains that, both as a solicitor and as a Member of Parliament, you are fully aware of the importance of upholding the proper administration of justice.

“You have not simply let yourself down; you have let down those who look to you for inspiration, your party, your profession and Parliament.

“The impact of your conviction has been disastrous for you. You have been expelled from the Labour Party and it seems inevitable that you will be struck off as a solicitor.

“But as things stand, it is not right to say that you have lost everything: you have decided to remain as a member of parliament despite your expulsion.

“It is well beyond the remit of this court to speculate on what the future holds for you as member of parliament for Peterborough.”