CONFIRMED: Date of Peterborough by-election as Onasanya forced to face constituents’ wrath

Voters in the Peterborough constituency will take to the polls on Thursday 6 June after a recall petition was passed last night to remove Onasanya from her position. A total of 19,261 constituents signed the petition, above the 7,000 that was needed to successfully trigger the new election. Onasanya last night became the first MP to be removed by a recall petition since the policy was first introduced by David Cameron in 2015. 

The former MP was elected as a representative of Labour in 2017 but was expelled from the party after she was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Onasanya was sentenced to three months imprisonment for lying to police about a speeding offence, serving four weeks in jail. 

The by-election is a set to be a hotly-contested seat with star names looking to represent the Brexit-backing East Anglian marginal.

Last night, Nigel Farage confirmed in a tweet that his new Brexit Party would be standing but has since announced he will not be the candidate. 

Former Labour MP George Galloway also put his hat in the ring, confirming on Twitter that he also intends to stand. 

Alan “Howling Laud” Hope will stand for the Monster Raving Loony Party which has its sights set on retaining their £500 deposit, something the group has never done since its launch in 1983. 

The constituency has fluctuated between Labour and Conservative in recent elections, with Tory Stewart Jackson holding the seat for 12 years before the 2017 election.

But, European election polls suggest a drop in support for the Conservatives, with some polls putting the party as low as 13 percent. 

Conservative candidate, Paul Bristow, who is pro-Brexit, said: “The people of Peterborough deserve a better MP who will vote in Parliament to deliver Brexit. 

“We have had a Labour MP who hasn’t improved the prospects of the local community and has consistently voted against delivering the referendum result to leave the EU.” 

Peterborough voted heavily against the European bloc in 2016’s election, with 60 percent of the electorate voting to leave the EU. 

Former UKIP parliamentary candidate and current MEP, Patrick O’Flynn, who will stand for the Social Democratic Party, said: “This whole process has taken far too long and left the people of Peterborough without proper parliamentary representation for months, but finally we can now look forward to a new MP being elected in a by-election. 

Labour won the seat in 2017 by just over 600 votes, the first time the party had topped the constituency since 2001.

Labour candidate Lisa Forbes, the current bookies’ favourite to win the seat, said: “We in the Labour Party campaigned hard to pass this petition and the people of Peterborough have clearly said that they want a fresh start and an MP that will bring honesty and integrity to the role.” 

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