An MP who made threatening phone calls to a woman because she was jealous of her relationship with her partner has been found guilty of harassing her.

Claudia Webbe, the independent MP for Leicester East, was accused of carrying out a campaign of harassment through unwanted telephone calls against Michelle Merritt, a female friend of her partner.

After the verdict, Webbe said she was "deeply shocked" and would appeal.

The prosecution said Webbe, of Islington, north London, made 16 calls to 59-year-old Michelle Merritt between September 2018 and April last year.

During one, she called Ms Merritt "a slag", threatened her with acid and said she would send naked pictures and videos to her daughters, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

During cross-examination on Wednesday, Webbe, who was suspended by the Labour party, said she had never met Ms Merritt and "there was no reason for any falling out".

She claimed a recorded phone call on 25 April in which Webbe was heard saying "get out of my relationship" 11 times was taken out of context.

when asked why she did not report ms merritt and mr thomas to the police, webbe denied one count of harassment and said she "courtesy".

"I simply called her and asked her not to break lockdown with Lester," she said.

I'm the victim."

The trial heard a string of character references from figures including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, ex-shadow chancellor John McDonnell and former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring said he believes some of the things Webbe said in court were "made up in the spur of the moment".

we are sure that ms webbe will be vindicated at an appeal."

he released webbe on unconditional bail but warned her she could face prison.

"Threatening to throw acid at somebody and to send intimate photographs to family members crosses the custody threshold," he added.

As I said in court and repeat now, I have never threatened violence nor have I ever harassed anyone."

Her lawyer, Raj Chada, added : "The recording of the call Ms Webbe made has been taken out of context.

She denied harassment between 1 September 2018 and 26 April 2020.

A former Labour MP who threatened to use acid against her boyfriend's female friend and reveal naked photographs of her has been found guilty of harassment.

He said he is considering a custodial sentence.

She said she will appeal the verdict and will continue to represent her constituents in Leicester East.

Webbe told the court : "She was committing a crime.

Prosecutor Susannah Stevens said Webbe harassed Ms Merritt because she was jealous of her friendship with Mr Thomas, a consultant at Crossrail, football coach and scout for Chelsea.

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