Claudia Webbe has been sentenced to ten weeks in custody, which will be suspended for two years. She has also been handed 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay £1000 in compensation, plus £120 in court costs. Webbe was found guilty of harassment last month, after threatening to throw acid over a friend of her partner.
Reacting to the news, a senior Tory source tells Guido:
“Webbe is the seventh Labour MP to be handed a jail sentence, suspended or otherwise, in the past 10 years. We had Illsley, Chaytor, Devine, McShane and Morley thieving; Onasanya perverting the course of justice and now Webbe harassing members of the public. Everything from fingers in the till to acid in the face. It’s hardly surprising that they’re so strongly against the police and sentencing bill. Thankfully we are building thousands of new prison places.”
Guido’s mole also tells him Webbe’s barrister argued that she’s broke, and can only pay a maximum of £100 a month towards her compensation costs. Presumably Claudia’s hoping the judge is unaware that MPs’ salaries are public knowledge.
UPDATE I: Labour have confirmed that Webbe has finally been expelled from the party. She was told she’d be booted after the guilty verdict came through last month and was given 14 days to appeal – she didn’t. Now she’s gone.
UPDATE II: Webbe has released a statement:
“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.”