Claudia Webbe Loses Appeal, Won’t Face By-Election

Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe, 57, has lost her appeal at Southwark Crown Court against her conviction for harassing a love rival. Despite this blow, her sentence has been downgraded from a suspended prison sentence to a 12-month community order, with 80 hours of community service. This means no automatic recall and her statement doesn’t show any intentions of stepping down…

While the judge and two magistrates found out the woman accused of having an affair with Webbe’s boyfriend had lied about the affair, this did not fatally undermine the harassment allegation. The claim that Webbe had threatened her with acid was dismissed. Webbe says: 

“I am deeply shocked by today’s outcome.

As I said in court and repeat now, I have never threatened violence nor would I.

As the court heard today, the events of the 25th of April are deeply personal. I was, as reported in the court, facing domestic abuse at the time of the call. I was deeply frustrated that my partner and Michelle Merritt had been socialising in the middle of the covid pandemic, contrary to the rules and all health advice. I was frightened and frustrated by his behaviour. But that fear and frustration could not and should not have been interpreted as harassment. I did not make a threat to throw acid at Michelle, and this was made clear by the judge. As evidenced in court, she had lied to the police and to the court. She wanted to get rid of me from the moment she was aware of me, and far from being fearful or frightened of me was actively planning and plotting my downfall and humiliation.

I would like to thank all those who have supported me through ordeal and continue to do so. These are the people who know me; my character, my values and my behaviour — they know I could not be guilty of this crime.

I would ask that you respect my privacy at this time.

I would also like to thank my lawyers Raj Chada from Hodge Jones & Allen, and Helen Law from Matrix for their continued support.” 

It may be anti-climactic, though Guido’s not sorry he’ll now get another two years’ worth of story content from the hapless MP…

mdi-timer 26 May 2022 @ 14:32 26 May 2022 @ 14:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Claudia Webbe Back in Court Today

Claudia Webbe is back in court today to “clear her name” by appealing her harassment conviction and sentence following the trial last November. Webbe was whacked with a 10-week jail term, suspended for two years, for threatening to throw acid over her partner’s friend and share naked pictures of her. Labour eventually suspended her from the party after the verdict, although Webbe has still been swanning around Parliament as an independent MP for the last six months… 

This morning her lawyer released a statement:

“Ms Webbe continues to maintain her innocence and is looking forward to the opportunity to clear her name. Her priority is to continue to serve the people of Leicester East. She will not be answering any further questions at this stage, and asks that her privacy be respected. ”

Why should her privacy be respected? She was convicted of a crime in an open court – there is no reason why her privacy should be respected in this matter. The Labour Party has previously said they’ll push for a recall petition and a by-election if Webbe doesn’t resign if her appeal doesn’t overturn the judgement. The hearing is expected to last two days. It’s all or nothing…

mdi-timer 19 May 2022 @ 10:29 19 May 2022 @ 10:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Claudia Webbe Booted Off Foreign Affairs Committee

SW1 will be crestfallen to hear Claudia Webbe is being kicked off the Foreign Affairs select committee, before she’d even had one chance to ask Liz Truss any questions about ‘Be’rus’. The news, confirmed in today’s Order Paper, is hardly surprising; even ignoring her recent harassment conviction, figures out last month showed her to have the worst attendance of any FCO committee member, turning up to just 18 out of 39 meetings. Is there no legal action Tom Tugendhat can take for her shirking of duties?

Meanwhile Diane Abbott is set to join the Justice Committee after Tory MPs’ plan to install her as chair of the Home Affairs Committee failed. Thankfully she’ll be able to draw on her familial experience of the justice system…

UPDATE: Skwawkbox points out that Webbe joined the Foreign Affairs Committee in May 2020, several months after other members. Figures for the 2021-2022 session reveal that “much-disliked Labour right-winger Neil Coyle“, who joined the Committee at the same time as Webbe, is in fact its most truant member. Coyle has attended just 7 of the 18 meetings, while Webbe has put in the legwork and showed up to 12. This is despite Coyle not having to take time off to appear in Court as a defendant. Guido is more than happy to correct the record, and thanks Skwawkbox for their help.

mdi-timer 5 January 2022 @ 09:15 5 Jan 2022 @ 09:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lee Anderson Solves Labour Shortage Problem

This morning in Parliament, straight-talking Lee Anderson told Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab exactly how he thinks the government should solve labour shortages:

Prisoners and ex-offenders out on licence should help fill the labour shortage and […] on release, all prisoners – including ex-Labour MPs – should be ready for work and starting work should be a condition of their licence.” 

Guido can’t imagine Claudia Webbe is a fan of the idea…

mdi-timer 9 November 2021 @ 13:30 9 Nov 2021 @ 13:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Claudia Webbe Sentenced to 10 Weeks in Custody, Suspended for Two Years

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 ILabour 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.”

mdi-timer 4 November 2021 @ 15:44 4 Nov 2021 @ 15:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Claudia Webbe Proudly Poses Alongside Labour MPs at Parliament

This afternoon the government quashed Barry Gardiner’s fire & rehire bill on the grounds they do not believe the bill will do what it claims. Labour have gone in hard on the issue, with Starmer publishing an op-ed this morning, and Barry Gardiner attending Tory conference to try and win over rebels. Seemingly to no avail…

In astonishing scenes, Steerpike’s parliamentary mole claimed to have seen none other than Claudia Webbe posing with her ex-comrades on the estate to support the bill – a photo surely no sitting Labour MP would be so stupid to be caught in following the MP being found guilty of harassment. Guido was astonished to discover not only was it true, Labour MPs have proudly posted the photo all over social media…

So far, both Janet Daby and Mohammad Yasin have posted their group selfie with Claudia. Seema Malhotra, on the other hand, very bluntly cropped the photo to avoid embarrassment.

How David Lammy, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary of all people, didn’t grasp the poor optics of standing directly next to the shamed MP Guido cannot understand…

mdi-timer 22 October 2021 @ 15:41 22 Oct 2021 @ 15:41 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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