Allegedly unloved left Labour MP Claudia Webbe has been suspended from the party after being charged with harassment of a woman over nearly two years.
The MP for Leicester East insisted she was innocent after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said she was accused of carrying out the offence between September 2018 and April 26 this year.
Webbe, who was elected for the first time in December last year, released a statement saying she would vigorously contest the charges. It is understood that Labour has withdrawn the whip pending the outcome of the case.
She will appear at Westminster magistrates court on 11 November.
Webbe said: “I am innocent of any wrongdoing and look forward to proving this in court. I will be vigorously defending myself against these claims.”
Last year, Webbe was chosen by the NEC to replace Leicester East sitting MP, Keith Vaz. He stood down following a critical parliamentary inquiry which found he offered to buy cocaine for sex workers.
As with most parliamentary selection contests taking place at a late stage, the candidate was picked by a selection panel including two NEC representatives.
Some local activists opposed Webbe and accused the party of imposing a Corbyn supporter on a centrist constituency Labour party.
She won the constituency with a majority of just over 6,000, down from the 22,000-plus majority Vaz had enjoyed.
She is one of 34 members of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs alongside Corbyn, Diane Abbott and John McDonnell.
A spokesperson for Leicester East Labour party complained Webbe had not told the CLP about the charges. “We are shocked at these developments.
But added: “Since her election Claudia Webbe has chosen not to have any dealings with the CLP. Against our express wishes she has remained an Islington councillor.
“We will support any action taken by the national party and the chief whip. The officers of the party will convene an emergency meeting to discuss these matters,” the spokesperson said.
Click here for a secure way to sign up, you will be supporting independent news. Click the button below.
Disagree with this article? why not write in and you can have your say? email us