Parliament ain’t just bad – it’s criminal: RICHARD LITTLEJOHN on jailbird MP Fiona Onasanya casting the deciding vote on the latest Stop Brexit manoeuvre
Just when you thought Parliament couldn’t sink any lower, along comes jailbird MP Fiona Onasanya to cast the deciding vote in favour of the latest Stop Brexit manoeuvre.
Onasanya walked through the voting lobby wearing the electronic ankle tag with which she was fitted after being released early from HMP Bronzefield in Surrey.
Her participation ensured that the Bill to change the law so that Britain can’t leave the EU without a ‘deal’ passed by the narrowest of margins, 313 to 312.
Fiona Onasanya cast the deciding vote in favour of the latest Stop Brexit manoeuvre
Onasanya, MP for Peterborough, served just 28 days of a three-month sentence for perverting the course of justice, after repeatedly lying to police to avoid a speeding fine.
If she had been forced to complete her full term she would still have been in prison and, therefore, unable to vote.
Such is the desperation of those determined to defy the democratic will of the British people that they are prepared to rely on the help of a convicted criminal to get their way.
We now live in a country where the vote of a single, disgraced MP outweighs the votes of 17.4 million people in a referendum.
If the division had been held any earlier in the day, Onasanya may not have been able to take part. She rushed to Westminster from an industrial tribunal, where she is accused of discriminating against a disabled employee who was told to use the men’s toilet because she couldn’t climb the stairs. You couldn’t make it up, especially as Onasanya isn’t shy when it comes to using the discrimination card to air her own grievances.
Over the years, we’ve seen sick MPs stretchered in to the House to take part in crucial votes. As recently as last summer, the Labour MP Naz Shah was pushed through the lobby in a wheelchair, dosed up on morphine, and with a bucket on her lap, just in case she threw up while casting her vote.
But Onasanya is the first MP who has turned up to vote wearing an ankle tag, while technically still serving a custodial sentence.
She had previously voted against Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. This is regardless of the fact that more than 60 per cent of her constituents in Peterborough voted Leave.
She’s currently fighting a recall petition aimed at forcing her to stand down and face a by-election. She can’t be kicked out automatically because her sentence was less than 12 months. Despite her conviction, and her appeal being turned down by three judges, Onasanya continues to protest her innocence both in public and on social media.
She recently appeared in a bizarre YouTube video with the New York skyline in the background. It looked as if she was auditioning for the old David Letterman show. The current king of late-night TV in America, Britain’s James Corden, might have to look to his laurels.
It can only be a matter of time before she features on Car Pool Karaoke, singing I Fought The Law (And The Law Won)!
The MP for Peterborough recently appeared in a bizarre YouTube video with the New York skyline in the background
The Labour Party withdrew the whip after she was convicted, but we’re told nothing could be done to stop her voting in the Commons. Really? I’m sure Speaker Bercow could have come up with some arcane rule which would have prevented her casting a vote.
After all, he’s already reached back to the 1600s in his apparent determination to Stop Brexit. And he continues to tear up the rule book and override precedent.
The Bill to extend Article 50 was rammed through in just four hours. Bercow’s behaviour has been described as a ‘constitutional outrage’ by Brexiteers.
Outside the Westminster Bubble, most people would think that allowing a convicted criminal wearing an ankle tag to cast the deciding vote on a crucial Bill affecting Britain’s future was also a constitutional outrage.
- Fury as disgraced ex-Labour MP Fiona Onasanya helps Remainer… Shamed MP Fiona Onasanya, 35, is accused of discriminating…
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Yet the Speaker and the other 312 MPs who voted in favour of the motion, put forward by Oliver Leftwing and Pixie Balls-Cooper, could see nothing wrong with Onasanya helping their cause. They would have been screaming blue murder if she’d voted the other way. You can bet your life that Bercow would have come up with something, anything, to stop that happening.
You might also have hoped that one, just one, ‘honourable’ member planning to vote in favour would have been seized by a pang of conscience and abstained, to cancel out Onasanya’s vote.
But no. As far as the Remain headbangers are concerned, Brexit must be derailed at any cost, even if that means the last vestiges of decency being thrown out of the window.
To make matters worse, Onasanya wasn’t the only crooked MP allowed to vote this week.
Tory Chris Davies, member for Brecon and Radnorshire, trooped through the lobby while awaiting sentencing for fraud.
Tory Chris Davies, member for Brecon and Radnorshire, trooped through the lobby while awaiting sentencing for fraud
He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of forgery and one count of providing false and misleading claims, relating to his election expenses. He, too, faces a recall petition.
Davies actually voted against the motion, so his vote did cancel out Onasanya’s. But that’s not the point. Neither of them should have been taking part.
One is still serving her sentence, even if she’s not behind bars where she belongs. The other has admitted his crimes and is awaiting his fate. Both have forfeited their right to sit as MPs.
I don’t know much about Davies, but Onasanya is beyond shame. She even claimed her MP’s salary while doing her porridge.
It’s a pity technology has advanced to allow prisoners to be monitored electronically while effectively on parole.
Not so long ago, the only way Onasanya could have voted would have been if she was escorted from jail to Westminster. It would have been marvellous if she’d been forced to walk through the division lobbies handcuffed to a couple of prison warders, like the Kray Twins at their mother Violet’s funeral.
The demeaning sight of an MP voting while manacled to a screw would have served as a perfect illustration of the murky depths to which the Mother of Parliaments has now sunk.
Speaking of Pixie Balls-Cooper (see above), I wonder if she’s taken in her Syrian refugee family yet? Just curious, that’s all.
Here’s one of life’s mysteries. Why is Project Fear still bothering? They’ve won. The game’s over. Brexit, in any meaningful sense, is dead as a door nail.
Yet they keep on pumping out scare stories. The Chief Constable of Hertfordshire was at it yesterday, warning that his men were on standby to deal with any riots which might arise because of No Deal, or No Brexit, or whatever.
As someone who lives on North London’s border with Hertfordshire, I somehow don’t see mass rioting breaking out on the streets of Potters Bar. Not until after the pubs shut, anyway.
Welwyn Garden City is hardly a walk on the wild side. I can’t imagine anyone lobbing Molotov cocktails through the windows of John Lewis in protest at the extension of Article 50.
The latest Project Fear scare story suggest Eurostar passengers will have their sandwiches confiscated by customs officials
Still, as far as Project Fear is concerned, the facts should never get in the way of a good scare story.
One TV channel went even further, warning that the Army had been put on alert. This ‘news’ was accompanied by library footage of soldiers marching in Downing Street. All you can do to stay sane is laugh out loud.
The daftest scare yet was the idea Eurostar passengers will have their ham sandwiches, pork pies and cheddar cheese rolls confiscated by customs officers before they travel through the Channel Tunnel.
At gunpoint, presumably. This ‘story’ was delivered in all seriousness by TV reporters standing on the concourse at St Pancras.
Do you honestly think French TV reporters are lining up at the Gare du Nord to warn that all baguettes jambon and rillettes will have to be surrendered unless President Macron softens his approach to Brexit?
I can only assume that so many scare stories have been launched that Project Fear has lost radio contact with some of its agents.
Like Japanese kamikaze pilots, they’re running out of fuel and they’re coming down to earth regardless, Brexit or No Brexit. Hide the ham sarnies!
For some reason, watching the shenanigans at Westminster, I keep hearing the theme tune from Stingray, the Sixties adventure series from puppeteer Gerry Anderson.
Stingray was the underwater companion show to the better-known Thunderbirds and began with the irresistible promise: ‘Anything can happen in the next half hour!’ That’s where British politics is now. You don’t know what madness is coming next.
Yesterday, there was divine intervention in the form of a water leak which led to the Commons being evacuated.
I’m looking forward to the plague of frogs, if it hasn’t occurred already by the time you read this. That’ll be a job for Stingray. Anything can happen in the next half hour!
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