Leicester MP Claudia Webbe Denies Harassment Charge

Webbe appeared in court accused of threatening a woman and making unwanted telephone calls on at least two occasions.
Claudia Webbe has been released on unconditional bail until March 2021
Claudia Webbe has been released on unconditional bail until March 2021

A serving MP threatened and made numerous unwanted telephone calls to a woman, a court has heard.

Claudia Webbe, who was elected Labour MP for Leicester East in December, pleaded not guilty to one charge of harassment during the 20-minute hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old spoke only to confirm her name, her age, and her address as Moreland Street in Islington, north London, and to formally enter her not guilty plea.

Webbe is charged with one count, that between September 1 2018 and April 26 2020, she pursued a course of conduct which amounted to the harassment of a woman, which Webbe knew or ought to have known amounted to harassment.

The prosecution alleges Webbe made numerous unwanted telephone calls to the woman and made threats on at least two occasions.

The defendant acknowledges calls were made but disputes the content.

She was released on unconditional bail to appear at a one-day trial at the same court on March 16 next year.

Earlier, chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot declined a request from Webbe’s counsel Dr Courtenay Griffiths that she be allowed to sit in the well of the court – rather than in the dock – for the hearing.

Webbe entered the Commons in the December general election, winning the seat formerly held by Keith Vaz, the Labour veteran who retired from Parliament in the wake of a scandal.

She stayed on as a councillor in Islington, and was also a member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee.

Earlier in her career, she was a political adviser to then-London mayor Ken Livingstone.

She was suspended from the party in September pending the outcome of this case.


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