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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Disgraced former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya is struck off as a solicitor for lying to avoid a speeding conviction

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Disgraced former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya was struck off as a solicitor today and accused of failing the public after being jailed for lying to avoid a speeding conviction.

The ex-lawyer was clocked doing 41mph in a 30mph zone on The Causeway in Thorney, Cambridgeshire, shortly after 10pm on 24 July 2017 - but told police she was not behind the wheel.

She was jailed for three months following an Old Bailey trial, for perverting the course of justice, losing her parliamentary seat shortly afterwards.

The remorseless former MP, who arrived for the hearing with her mother Paulina, told a disciplinary tribunal today she is innocent - but was still struck off the roll of solicitors.


Edward Nally, chairman of a three-member panel at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in central London, said: 'As a parliamentarian makes the law so a solicitor must uphold the law and rule of law, and sadly in this case Ms Onasanya has failed in those duties.

'We must strike off Ms Onasanya from the roll of solicitors.'

Fiona Onasanya (right) arrives at her tribunal with her mother Paulina today where she was struck off as a lawyer after her conviction for perverting the course of justice +3
Fiona Onasanya (right) arrives at her tribunal with her mother Paulina today where she was struck off as a lawyer after her conviction for perverting the course of justice

Photo issued by the CPS of CCTV footage showing Fiona Onasanya speeding 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney near Peterborough +3
Photo issued by the CPS of CCTV footage showing Fiona Onasanya speeding 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney near Peterborough

The tribunal found she acted dishonestly, failed to act with integrity and failed to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in her.

But Onasanya, 35, earlier told the Solicitor's Disciplinary Tribunal: 'I always said, and I maintain that I did not do an act intending and intended to pervert the course of justice. I have pointed out that it was not said that I was driving the car that was not part of the issue.'
Festus Onasanya, Fiona's 33-year-old brother, was also jailed over the conspiracy
Festus Onasanya, Fiona's 33-year-old brother, was also jailed over the conspiracy
Having been found guilty of the charges she will now argue against being struck off and having to pay £22,762 in costs for 40 hours work by Solicitors' Regulatory Authority.
Onasanya, who rose to party whip while serving as the member of parliament, represented herself at hearing and appeared at the tribunal with her mum.
Nimi Bruce, for the Solicitors' Regulation Authority, said: 'The court found by 2 November 17 the respondent was aware that false information had been provided to the police by her brother.
'Ordinary, decent people would consider the behaviour giving rise to the conviction dishonest.'
The disciplinary panel heard Onasanya qualified in November 2015 and worked in commercial property law until becoming an MP in June 2017 and no longer holds a certificate.
She plotted with her brother Festus, 34, to avoid prosecution for speeding by naming Aleks Antipow as the driver of the Nissan Micra.
Mr Antipow, the sibling's former lodger, was at home with his parents in Russia 1,800 miles away.
Onasayna was jailed for three months and her brother received 10 months in prison.
She served 28-days in HMP Bronzefield, Surrey, the largest women's prison in Europe and likened her tribulations to the suffering of Jesus after being released.
Onasanya said: 'In times like these, the natural inclination of believers is to ask God: why? I personally do not, because in my experience the answers are usually far above and beyond my reach,' said
'What I do know is that I am in good biblical company, along with Joseph, Moses, Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, who were each found guilty by the courts of their day.
'While God did not save them from a guilty verdict, he did save them in it and ensured that their greatest days of impact were on the other side of a guilty verdict.
'Of course, this is equally true of Christ, who was accused and convicted by the courts of his day and yet this was not his end but rather the beginning of the next chapter in his story.'
Onasanya insisted she had could not remember who had been driving her car - and she had left a form dealing with the notice of prosecution for her brother to fill in.
But during the first trial her former head of communications, Dr Christian DeFeo, and his wife approached prosecutors with dramatic new evidence.
They told the court Onasanya had been with them on the night the car was caught by the speed camera just yards down the road.
Onasanya was a former county councillor who won the Peterborough election on 8 June 2017.
Her appeal against conviction was thrown out at the High Court in March.

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