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Tory MP who campaigned for tougher speeding restrictions ASKS for driving ban

An MP who has campaigned for tougher speed restrictions has asked magistrates to ban him from driving after being caught over the limit more than once.

Tory MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow, 42, said he has ‘asked to be temporarily disqualified from driving’ over the offences, which included going over the limit in a 50mph zone.

The father-of-two claimed it would be hypocritical of him to contest it as he has previously campaigned on speeding issues in the city.

He will go against lawyers who told him to ‘wriggle off the hook’, which he said would be ‘highly damaging in the ways that count’.

By accepting the ban, he hopes to ‘retain credibility’ and continue campaigning about speeding ‘without any suggestion of hypocrisy’.

Mr Bristow’s predecessor Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya was jailed for three months in January 2019 after she was convicted of lying to police about a speeding ticket. 

She spent just a month in prison for perverting the course of justice and was banned from being a solicitor.

Tory MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow, 42, said he has ‘asked to be temporarily disqualified from driving’ after being caught speeding on several occasions

Two speeding incidents occurred when he drove on a dual carriageway and the limit suddenly dropped.

Writing in his regular column in the Peterborough Telegraph, he said: ‘There are times when we face a choice. Recently, I have had a serious choice.

‘There was an option that might have avoided consequences, but would make me a hypocrite.

‘So I picked the other option, admitted responsibility for a speeding offence and asked to be temporarily disqualified from driving. 

‘I want to be clear. The incidents that triggered my request occurred on dual carriageways and both involved sections where the speed limit suddenly drops.

‘Some of the advice I received was to contest the latest offence, or try to explain mitigating circumstances and avoid disqualification. But how could I do that?

Mr Bristow's predecessor Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya (pictured) was jailed for three months in January 2019 after she was convicted of lying to police about a speeding ticket. She spent just a month in prison for perverting the course of justice

Mr Bristow’s predecessor Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya (pictured) was jailed for three months in January 2019 after she was convicted of lying to police about a speeding ticket. She spent just a month in prison for perverting the course of justice

‘How could I campaign for speed cameras or tougher measures on ordinary Peterborough streets, if I asked a court to award me fewer points than my offence normally merits? If I offered excuses?

‘I need to be able to campaign about speeding on residential streets without any suggestion of hypocrisy.

‘There are roads in Paston, Dogsthorpe, Bretton, and across the city that require action.

‘The only way for me to retain credibility when doing this was to admit responsibility and tell you what happened.’ 

Mr Bristow won his seat in the 2019 general election, just six months after Lisa Forbes became the MP in a June by-election.

The June vote was triggered when Onasanya’s conviction brought about a recall petition.

Mr Bristow explained in his column that two offences involved not slowing down quickly enough when speed limits changed.

One happened on the Fletton Parkway – shortly after the A1 – where the speed drops to 60mph.

Mr Bristow won his seat in the 2019 general election, just six months after Lisa Forbes became the MP in a June by-election

Mr Bristow won his seat in the 2019 general election, just six months after Lisa Forbes became the MP in a June by-election 

In another incident – also involving the A1 – a police van caught him speeding prior to the Buckden roundabout. The permitted speed decreased from 70mph to just 50mph. 

Drivers can be banned from driving if they are convicted of a driving offence, such as driving under the influence.

A ban can also be imposed if the driver has 12 or more penalty points within three years. Each incident of speeding adds three points to drivers’ licences. 

Someone facing a ban can ask a judge to be lenient with the number of points given so as to avoid it or can launch an appeal after one is issued – but Mr Bristow opted not to do either option.

MP Mr Bristow added: ‘Multiple offences mean multiple points.

‘The advice to wriggle off the hook would have been highly damaging in the ways that count.

‘We don’t want politicians who think the rules aren’t applicable to them. It destroys trust.

‘We badly need drivers to slow down on our residential streets.

One of his speeding incidents happened on the Fletton Parkway (pictured) - shortly after the A1 - where the speed drops to 60mph

One of his speeding incidents happened on the Fletton Parkway (pictured) – shortly after the A1 – where the speed drops to 60mph

In another incident - also involving the A1 - a police van caught him speeding prior to the Buckden roundabout (streetview image). The permitted speed decreased from 70mph to just 50mph

In another incident – also involving the A1 – a police van caught him speeding prior to the Buckden roundabout (streetview image). The permitted speed decreased from 70mph to just 50mph

‘I can’t call for their speeding to have consequences, without accepting that my own misjudgements on the A1 should too.

‘Only by asking to be disqualified can I look constituents in the eye.

‘So here I am, writing this column. Another Peterborough MP with a speeding issue.

‘Fiona Onasanya ruined her political and legal career, and ending up behind bars.

‘Perhaps the worst that will happen to me is a temporary disqualification from driving.’

Mr Bristow acknowledged he would be criticised for the offences. 

In the column he concluded; ‘I’m sure I’ll get some stick, in various shades of good and bad humour.

‘What matters is that I can still campaign for people in this city who need my help. That makes it worth the rap.’


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