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Claudia Webbe suspended from Labour after harassment charge

Labour MP Claudia Webbe

Labour MP Claudia Webbe has been suspended by Keir Starmer after being charged with harassment.

Reports suggest that the Labour leader made the decision after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced the charge against the 55-year-old, who represents Leicester East, after being passed a file of evidence by the Metropolitan Police.

Webbe is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 11, to face one count of harassment of a female between September 1 2018 and April 26 2020.

The Metropolitan Police said the accusation was made on April 25 this year and related to an alleged offence in London.

In a statement, the MP said: “I am innocent of any wrongdoing and look forward to proving this in court. I will be vigorously defending myself against these claims.”

Jenny Hopkins, from the CPS, said: “The CPS has today decided that Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East, should be charged with an offence of harassment against one female.

“The CPS made the decision after receiving a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police.

“Criminal proceedings against Webbe are now active and she has the right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

The Corbynista MP entered the Commons in the December general election, winning the seat formerly held by Keith Vaz, the Labour veteran who retired from parliament in the wake of a scandal.

He received a six-month Commons suspension for causing “significant damage” to the reputation of the House, as the standards committee found he expressed a willingness to purchase cocaine for others during an encounter with male sex workers.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on an ongoing case.”