Labour party suspends Claudia Webbe MP following harassment charge

Claudia Webbe MP
Claudia Webbe MP

LABOUR has suspended Leicester MP Claudia Webbe from the party and the party whip following a harassment charge against her, reported the BBC.

The Leicester East representative has been charged with harassing a woman between September 2018 and April 2020.

“It would not be appropriate to comment on an ongoing case,” a Labour Party spokesperson told the BBC.

Webbe is accused of one count of harassment, the report further stated.

Responding to the allegations, Webbe said she is “innocent of any wrongdoing” and that she will “vigorously” defend herself in court.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the 55-year-old MP is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 11 November.

The CPS has said that it has decided to charge the MP with an offence of harassment against one female after “receiving a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police.”

Webbe was elected as an MP in December’s general election, taking over the seat previously held by Keith Vaz.

She had previously examined the work of the Met as the force attempted to tackle gun crime among the black community.

As head of the Trident independent advisory group for more than a decade, Webbe would often comment publicly on the police force’s efforts to solve gun-related crimes which disproportionately affected African-Caribbean people.

She was elected to Labour’s national executive committee in 2016 with the backing of the grassroots group Momentum.

In 2018, she was elected chair of Labour’s dispute panel and in the process became the first black woman to sit on the officer group of the national executive committee (NEC).

She is one of 34 members of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs alongside Corbyn, Diane Abbott and John McDonnell.

She remains a councillor in Islington, north London, since 2010, and was also a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee.

Webbe also acted as an adviser to former London mayor Ken Livingstone in the past.

Born in Leicester in 1965, Webbe studied social sciences at De Montford university before moving on to London to study race and ethnic relations at Birkbeck.