Expelled MP gets suspended sentence after being found guilty of harassment

Sienna Rodgers

Claudia Webbe, the independent MP for Leicester East, has been expelled from the Labour Party and today has been handed a ten-week custodial sentence that will be suspended for two years and 200 hours of community service.

In October, the MP was found guilty of threatening and harassing a woman. Responding to the news, a Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party strongly condemns Claudia Webbe’s actions and she should now resign.”

Webbe was suspended from Labour, and had the whip suspended, as soon as allegations came to light in September 2020. LabourList understands that Webbe has now been expelled from the Labour Party.

LabourList has been told today that Webbe was informed when the guilty verdict came through last month that she would be expelled as the next stage of the disciplinary process. In response, she asked Labour to defer its decision until after her legal appeal, but this bid was rejected.

As Webbe has been convicted in the United Kingdom of an offence and received a custodial sentence of less than a year, unless she successfully appeals, a recall petition will be triggered. 10% of eligible Leicester East voters would need to sign it to force a by-election.

Last month, Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring said of Webbe: “Some of the things she said I believe were made up on the spur of the moment.

“Some things she said in the witness box just don’t bear scrutiny. In short, I find Ms Webbe to be vague, incoherent and at times illogical.”

Sentencing, the Chief Magistrate today said: “The level of harassment and the threats you made cannot be excused.”

The court had heard that the MP carried out a campaign of harassment against a woman out of jealousy and on one occasion told her over the phone: “You should be acid.”

Webbe has responded to the sentence, saying: “I am very disappointed by the decision of the magistrate and want to strongly reiterate that I am innocent.

“I am lodging an appeal and despite today’s sentence I fully expect the appeal to be granted and that, ultimately, it will be successful.”

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