Political Officers Report 22nd January 2019

Branch Political Officers Report for Branch Committee Meeting 22nd January 2019

 

Fiona Onasayna

Fiona was found guilty at the Old Bailey of perverting the course of justice on 19th December 2018, she was suspended by the Labour Party as soon as the verdict was announced and expelled the next day. She has so far refused to resign as an MP and is sitting as an Independent in the House of Commons.

At the time of writing this report a date for sentencing is unknown, until a sentence is passed, everything is up in the air as to how the party moves forwards. 

The Regional Labour Party has moved to Peterborough for the foreseeable future to help the CLP, as stated earlier everything is up in the air until sentencing there are two possible scenario’s these being 

1. She would automatically lose her seat if she received a sentence of 12 months or more, even if some of it was suspended.

 

2. If she were to receive a shorter custodial sentence, a recall petition would automatically be triggered, this would mean 10% of the constituency signing a petition, no MP has ever been recalled, if this was to happen Labour will encourage Labour voters and Party members to sign the petition. (see attached explanation on how it would work)

 

Peterborough CLP Special Members Meeting 

A special all members meeting of the Peterborough Constituency Labour Party (CLP) was held on Thursday 3rdJanuary 2019, to discuss the next steps following the recent conviction of Fiona Onasayna, Peterborough’s Labour MP, for Perverting the Course of Justice.

Ian Lavery, Labour Party Chairman, told the meeting that Fiona Onansanya had been expelled from the party, and is no longer the Labour MP for Peterborough and that Labour Party officials were waiting on the outcome of her sentencing, due later this month, before taking the next steps.

He also told the 100 plus CLP members present that Labour would actively seek to trigger a byelection if Fiona received a sentence of less than 12 months having been found guilty of lying to police to avoid a speeding charge.

“Labour would “actively support” such a petition, which would need to be endorsed by 10% of the electorate in the constituency, over a six-week period to trigger a byelection.”

She would automatically lose her seat if she received a sentence of 12 months or more, even if some of it was suspended. But if she were to receive a shorter custodial sentence, a recall petition would automatically be triggered.

Trade Union Liaison Officer (TULO)

As TULO Officer for the CLP I arranged a meeting of all the Trade Unions in Peterborough on Tuesday 8th January, to discuss the political situation in Peterborough, there was an update from the East of England Labour Party Regional Director, who explained what was happening which is detailed in the previous paragraphs of this report.

Campaigning for Labour in Peterborough

The Party have now moved into new Campaign Centre at GMB, Swan Court Forder Way, Peterborough PE7 8GX and all events will take place at the Campaign Centre. The Campaign Centre is just 2 minutes’ drive from J17 of the A1 and the no 6 bus from Peterborough bus station, stops at Phorpres Road, which is just around the corner from the Campaign Centre.
 

The Party have asked if there is any member who is willing or able to deliver leaflets or canvas, please contact the Regional Director on eastern@labour.org.uk  

Brexit

The Government lost the vote on Brexit Deal setting out Britain’s terms of exiting the EU last week by 432 votes to 202, this was the biggest government defeat in history, several Conservative MP’s from within the Branch Area voted against the withdrawal Bill.

Vote of No Confidence in the Government

Following the governments defeat in the Withdrawal Bill vote, Jerry Corbyn tabled a vote of no confidence against the government, the government won this by 19 votes. All of the conservative MP’s within the Branch voted in favour of the government 

The independent MP has missed several votes since her conviction without explanation but returned to Parliament yesterday to vote against the EU Withdrawal Agreement. Conservative North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Varaalso voted against the Brexit deal but supported the Government in the no confidence vote. Fellow Tories Steve Barclay (North East Cambridgeshire), Nick Boles (Grantham and Stamford), Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon), John Hayes (South Holland and the Deepings) and Tom Pursglove (East Northamptonshire) also voted against the no confidence motion.

Peterborough’s independent MP has missed several votes since her conviction without explanation but returned to Parliament yesterday to vote against the EU Withdrawal Agreement but failed to vote in the no confidence vote.

 

 

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