FORMER Member of Parliament for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya has been struck off the solicitors register in the UK after a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing in London today which found her guilty of dishonesty.
Ms Onasanya, 35, was expelled from the Labour Party de-selected as an MP after being found guilty of lying about a speeding ticket. She was jailed for three months in January but released after serving just 28 days of her sentence and now, her woes have been compounded after she was barred from practising as a solicitor.
This morning, the three-member panel at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal panel said she had failed to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in her. Chairman Edward Nally said she had also failed to uphold the rule of law and proper administration of justice and failed to act with integrity.
Mr Nally said: “That conviction we are aware, has led to disastrous consequences for Ms Onasanya both personally and professionally. As a solicitor there are professional consequences that follow from a proven act of dishonesty that has been found by a jury after trial.”
In addition, Ms Onasanya, a University of Hertfordshire graduate was also ordered to pay £6,562 to cover the costs of the prosecution by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Initially, the SRA had originally applied for £22,762 after saying the case took 40 hours of preparation but Mr Nally reduced it after saying he had anxiety about the numbers of hours that have been claimed.
Ms Onasanya, who worked in commercial property law, continued to sit as an MP and receive her £77,379 salary during her 28 days behind bars. She lost an appeal against her conviction in March. In mitigation, Ms Onasanya had told the panel she was pursuing avenues to clear her name, adding that the speeding incident did not have a negative effect on anybody.
She qualified as a solicitor in 2015 but stopped practising in 2017 when she was elected as Labour MP for Peterborough by a small majority of 607 votes. Within months of taking her seat, Ms Onasanya colluded with her brother Festus after her Nissan Micra was clocked speeding at 41mph in a 30mph zone.
She was sent a notice of intended prosecution to fill out but it was sent back naming the guilty driver as Aleks Antipow, an acquaintance of her brother, who was away visiting his parents in Russia. Her brother admitted filling out the form and was jailed for 10 months after he pleaded guilty to two other similar offences.