Claudia Webbe: MP faces Labour Party expulsion

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Image source, David Woolfall/UK Parliament
Image caption,
Claudia Webbe has represented Leicester East since 2019

An MP who was convicted of harassing and threatening a woman could be expelled from the Labour Party.

Claudia Webbe, 56, MP for Leicester East, was found guilty of one charge of harassment on Wednesday.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard Webbe, who is now an independent MP, made several calls over two years and threatened the woman with acid.

Labour said it had now started the "exclusion stage" in its disciplinary process.

The BBC understands this is the next stage after her suspension and could mean she is stripped of the party membership she has retained since becoming independent. She has 14 days to appeal.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Webbe told the court she was still with her partner Lester Thomas

In court, the prosecution said Webbe, of Islington, north London, made 16 calls to 59-year-old Michelle Merritt between September 2018 and April 2020.

Merritt was a friend of her partner Lester Thomas, and Webbe was said to be jealous of their relationship.

The court heard on one occasion she made an "angry" call, used a derogatory term and added: "You should be acid."

In another she threatened to send naked photos and videos of Ms Merritt to her family and made silent calls from a withheld number, the hearing was told.

She was found guilty on Wednesday and is due to be sentenced on 4 November.

Ms Webbe told the BBC she "vigorously denies" the charges and plans to appeal her conviction.

She declined to comment further.

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