THE trial of Claudia Webbe was dramatically postponed today after the court heard that her high profile barrister has been rushed to hospital.
The 56-year-old, who replaced disgraced Keith Vaz as MP for Leicester East, faced a one-day trial today at Westminster Magistrates’ court – yet the trial will no longer take place today after it was announced that her lawyer has been rushed to hospital.
Details of the reason for the hospitalisation have not yet been released.
The MP had been released on unconditional bail after the Metropolitan Police supplied evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service detailing claims of harassment between 1st September 2018 and 26th April 2020.
Webbe had been charged with one count of harassing a woman named Michelle Merritt through numerous unwanted telephone calls, and for making threats to Merritt on at least two occasions.
Webbe, of Moreland Street, Islington, north London, acknowledged the calls were made but disputed the content.
Entering the dock, as the trial began Webbe requested that her address not be published ‘for personal safety reasons’. This request, however, was rejected by the Chief Magistrate.
However, the MP’s trial was dramatically postponed after her high profile barrister was allegedly rushed to hospital, leaving her with no defence lawyer.
The trial is set to be rescheduled. If found guilty, Webbe risks losing her seat in Parliament.
Section 1 of the Recall Act dictates that the Speaker of the House can trigger a recall petition if a sitting MP received a custodial sentence of under a year. Anything over a year leads to automatic dismissal of the MP without the need for a petition.
The ongoing trial comes as another scandalous blow to the Labour Party, with no less than thirty-two Labour politicians being charged, imprisoned, or suspended in the past six months alone.
Another prominent upcoming trial is that of Tower Hamlet’s MP Apsana Begum – a close associate of disgraced ‘vote-rigger’ Lutfur Rahman – who has been officially charged with committing housing fraud.
Apsana Begum, 29, was given a £330,000 desirable riverside property just months after moving out of her estranged husband’s home. Official complaints were made over how the far-left Corbynista leapt to the top of a 18,000-strong housing list, despite having no children.
Allegedly using her contacts at the council, Begum is thought to have applied for a council flat while living with her family in 2011. Begum moved in with her husband in 2014 but the couple split a year later.
Within just six months Ms Begum was offered the one-bed Isle of Dogs flat in a riverside block – jumping her own constituents; families and vulnerable residents, some of whom have been waiting desperately on the list for years.
Tower Hamlets only has the capacity to house 1,700 people per year, on a list of over 18,000 applicants.
A source from a political organisation in Tower Hamlets said: “She’s still in the flat despite earning £82,000 plus expenses a year as MP, and yet has the audacity to complain about housing shortages. The council are taking their time to ensure all their ducks are in a row. It has the potential to be bigger than the Onasanya saga”.