Jailbird MP Fiona Onyasana has been offered free use of a new democracy app as she faces the humiliation of becoming the first MP to be kicked out of Parliament under new legislation.
The makers of new democracy app Rate Your Leader have offered the ex-Labour MP the chance to digitally consult local voters as she contemplates standing down as an MP under the threat of being thrown out of the House of Commons.
The Peterborough MP was recently released after spending 28 days in prison following a conviction for perverting the course of justice, after blaming a speeding ticket on a family friend who was in Russia at the time of the offence.
Following an unsuccessful appeal against the conviction, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow last week served a recall notice under the 2015 Recall of MPs act, forcing a by-election to be triggered if 10% of Peterborough voters sign a petition in support.
Recent reports suggest that the petition will cost taxpayers £500,000
Onyasana won the seat in 2017 with a majority of just 607.
New democracy app Rate Your Leader, which lets local people identify and contact their elected representatives at the touch of a button, direct from their phones or tablets
The platform also allows politicians to engage only with voters in their constituencies in an abuse-proof way, helping them truly understand what matters most to the people who elect them.
Rate Your Leader founder and high profile tech entrepreneur Ajay Jagota said:
“The voters of Peterborough have heard nothing from Fiona Onyasana since her jail sentence, and at Rate Your Leader we don’t think that’s good enough, so we want to help her reach out to them.
“As it stands she gives every impression of wanting to stay on as MP, despite being convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice, which is surely incompatible with making laws. If she wants to show that she still has the support of the public to carry on, our direct democracy technology will allow her to do that.
“On the other hand, if it does show that the people of Peterborough no longer want her as their MP, she could still step down with some dignity intact.
“With a majority of just 607, we would be suggesting that she uses our technology to better engage with voters anyway, with a new General Election possible at any time – especially now she’s out of prison and has her phone back.
“Fiona is not currently a user of Rate Your Leader, my guess is electors would rate her very badly in light of everything that has been going on recently – I mean, there aren’t many jobs where your boss would keep you on if you went to prison are there? But there’s only one way to find out.”
Rate Your Leader is free to download from the Apple and Google Play marketplaces.