It has emerged that the MP for Leicester East, Claudia Webbe has breached the MPs’ Code of Conduct by failing to declare payments she received for her continued role as a councillor in London. MPs’ Code of Conduct states that any income, in excess of their £82,000 salaries, must be recorded within 28 days on their register of interests.
However, an investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone has concluded that she did not do this with eight sets of allowances that she received from Islington Borough Council in 2020. When Ms Webbe was elected as the Labour MP for Leicester East in December 2019, she did quit her council cabinet role for environment and transport however, she continued to hold her seat as a councillor for the Bunhill ward of Islington Borough Council.
Kathryn Stone’s report and its findings have been published on the House of Commons website. It says: “Ms Webbe has acknowledged and apologised for her breach of the rules and committed to take appropriate steps to avoid a recurrence. I consider this breach to be at the less serious end of the spectrum”.
Ms Webbe is currently suspended by the Labour Party whilst she is awaiting trial on a harassment charge, she faces. She has written to Ms Stone to attempt to explain: “I was unaware that I was in breach of the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament. As a new Member of Parliament, I failed to fully understand the requirement in respect of registering Members’ Financial Interests and had wrongly assumed this was an annual requirement and further had not understood that no exceptions exist”.
UNN’s Oliver Down understood that Ms Webbe has had intended to step down fully from Islington council in May 2020 when elections were planned. However, they were cancelled because of the pandemic. She has now asked the registrar to record the monthly Islington allowances until around May, when local elections are planned.