Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe loses appeal against conviction for harassing love rival

Former Labour MP Claudia Webbe has lost her appeal against her conviction for harassing a woman who was "having sex with her partner".

Webbe, who represents her Leicester East constituency as an independent after being expelled from the Labour 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.

The victim told how Webbe branded her a “s**g” 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 an appeal hearing at Southwark Crown Court, she was again found guilty by Judge Deborah Taylor and two magistrates.

The Labour party have now called for Webbe to quit as an MP.

A Labour spokesman said: “The allegations in this case were extremely serious.

“The Labour Party rightly expects elected representatives to maintain the very highest standards at all times.

“Ms Webbe should now resign so the people of Leicester East can get the representation they deserve.”