A CHRISTIAN MP who was found guilty of perverting the course of justice has said that she will remain in Parliament despite being expelled from the Labour Party, and ahead of her sentencing.
Fiona Onasanya, MP for Peterborough, wrote in a local paper that her constituents should “rest assured” that she would stay as their MP. She is a member of Christians on the Left.
Ms Onasanya, who is a solicitor, was found guilty at the Old Bailey last month. The Labour Party has said that she should resign from her seat; she would automatically lose her seat only if she was given a sentence of 12 months or more. She was expelled from the party after she refused to stand down and allow a new Labour candidate to fight a by-election.
She had lied “persistently and deliberately” to the police about who was driving her car, in an effort to avoid a speeding ticket, the court was told.
Ms Onasanya, and her brother Festus, who is accused of colluding with her, will both be sentenced this month.
Writing in the Peterborough Telegraph, she made no reference to her conviction; instead, she highlighted the work she had done in the House of Commons: “While it has been a successful year fighting back against these injustices, there is still much more to be done, and you can rest assured that I will continue to do so as your representative in the corridors of power.”
In a message to colleagues after she was found guilty, Ms Onasanya said: “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.”
She wrote: “As many of you are already aware, due to widespread media coverage, I was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. Although I vigorously maintained my innocence, the jury has decided that I am guilty.
“I campaigned for justice and for the interests of ordinary people throughout my entire working life to date, but it is this which has made both national and international press. The first jury was dismissed having failed to reach a decision last month but the second jury reached their conclusion within days.
“Regardless of what you believe or suspect, the fact remains that I, Fiona, sought to be the choice and voice of change, but this may now take a different path. 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.
“Christ . . . 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.”
In 2016, before her election, Ms Onasanya said that the Church had equipped her for public service (News, 9 June 2017). “There are many characters in the Bible who show us we are called to serve outside of the four walls of the church building — from Joseph and Daniel to Esther and Nehemiah. We should take joy and strength from our positions knowing we are placed there on purpose for a purpose.”