politics

Labour MP Claudia Webbe charged with harassment


The Labour MP Claudia Webbe has been charged with an offence of harassment and will appear in court next month, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced.

Webbe, a former councillor in London who was elected as the MP for Leicester East at the 2019 election, was charged with harassment against one female, the CPS said in a statement.

The 55-year-old has been charged after an investigation by the Metropolitan police and is due to appear at Westminster magistrates court on 11 November. The alleged offence is said to have taken place between 1 September 2018 and 26 April this year.

Jenny Hopkins, the head of the special crime unit of the CPS, said in a statement: “The CPS has today decided that Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East, should be charged with an offence of harassment against one female. The CPS made the decision after receiving a file of evidence from the Metropolitan police.

“Criminal proceedings against Ms Webbe are now active and she has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Webbe said: “I am innocent of any wrongdoing and look forward to proving this in court. I will be vigorously defending myself against these claims.”

Webbe was born and brought up in Leicester, but her adoption for the Leicester East seat after her tenure as a councillor and cabinet member at Islington council prompted some complaints within the local party.

She won the constituency with a majority of just over 6,000, down from the 22,000-plus majority of the longstanding former MP Keith Vaz.

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