MP Claudia Webbe loses appeal against harassment conviction

·1-min read
MP Claudia Webbe has lost her appeal against her conviction for harassing a love rival (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
MP Claudia Webbe has lost her appeal against her conviction for harassing a love rival (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Former Labour MP Claudia Webbe has lost her appeal against her conviction for harassing a love rival.

Webbe, who represents her Leicester East constituency as an independent after being expelled from the party, targeted Michelle Merritt, 59, between September 2018 and April 2020.

Prosecutors said the 18-month harassment campaign was driven by “obsession” and “jealousy” over her boyfriend Lester Thomas’s relationship with executive assistant Ms Merritt.

MP Claudia Webbe arrives at Southwark Crown Court (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
MP Claudia Webbe arrives at Southwark Crown Court (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

The victim said Webbe had branded her a “slag” who “should be acid” and threatened to reveal naked photographs to her family in a string of phone calls.

Webbe, a former adviser to the National Police Chiefs’ Council on firearms, was found guilty of harassment by Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring and handed a 10-week suspended jail sentence following a trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last year.

On Thursday, following a hearing at Southwark Crown Court, her appeal was dismissed by Judge Deborah Taylor and two magistrates.

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