MP Claudia Webbe given suspended sentence for harassing woman

The MP Claudia Webbe has been sentenced to 10 weeks in custody suspended for two years after being found guilty of a campaign of harassment, including threatening an acid attack, against a woman.

Webbe was found guilty of harassing Michelle Merritt, a friend of her partner, with threatening phone calls. A trial was told she had called Merritt a slag, threatened to “use acid” and said she would distribute naked pictures of Merritt to her family.

The 56-year-old has also been ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work after being found guilty of harassment.

The sentencing of Webbe, who was elected as a Labour MP but now sits as an independent, represents a dramatic fall from grace. In 2019, she was one of the most powerful minority ethnic figures in UK politics, a key aide to Jeremy Corbyn and the chair of the party’s disputes panel.

Webbe was elected with a majority of 6,019 but had the whip withdrawn last year after she was charged. She is expected to appeal against her conviction for harassment.

But her sentence at Thursday’s hearing will prompt an automatic recall petition in Leicester East if her appeal fails.

Both Labour and the Conservatives are preparing to battle over the seat if Webbe fails to turn over the court’s decision.

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