Peterborough faces by-election as recall petition reaches threshold

Sienna Rodgers

A by-election will soon be held in Peterborough, as the petition to recall ex-Labour MP Fiona Onasanya was confirmed to have reached the required number of signatures for success.

According to the BBC, 19,261 local constituents signed the petition – well above the 10% threshold set by the Recall of MPs Act 2015.

First elected in the marginal seat in 2017, Onasanya was found to have lied to avoid a speeding ticket and was convicted of perverting the course of justice earlier this year. She was subsequently suspended by Labour, which called for her resignation.

With its parliamentary candidate Lisa Forbes selected in February, Labour has been actively campaigning and urging voters to sign the recall petition in order to trigger a by-election.

Onasanya is now no longer an MP and there will be an early June by-election in the constituency, which was won by Labour by just 607 votes at the last election.

Although Peterborough is very marginal, it is expected that the Brexit Party will split the Tory vote and help Labour win the seat. Nigel Farage’s party has planned a rally in the constituency next week.

Commenting on the success of the recall petition, party chair Ian Lavery said: “Labour campaigned hard for a victory in this recall petition. The people of Peterborough clearly agree that Fiona Onasanya is not fit to be their MP and we’re delighted they will now have the chance to vote for a Labour MP in our excellent candidate, Lisa Forbes. Labour will move the writ tomorrow.

“Labour will vigorously fight the by-election here in Peterborough. The voters of Peterborough will have a stark choice: between the Tories who have cut police numbers while crime is rising, or Labour who will put more bobbies on the beat and cut crime; the Conservatives who are destroying our NHS, or Labour who will provide the doctors and nurses local hospitals in the region desperately need.

“And voters will have the choice between a Labour Party which will invest to create high skilled, well-paid jobs, or the Tory policies that have left too many people here in Peterborough striving but barely surviving.”

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