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Suspended Labour MP Claudia Webbe says ‘rich must be abolished’ to combat climate crisis

The Independent logo The Independent 14/04/2021 Colin Drury
Claudia Webbe smiling for the camera © Provided by The Independent

A suspended Labour MP has said the “rich must be abolished” to combat climate crisis.

Claudia Webbe – who earns £81,000 a year plus expenses – was responding to a report which found the world’s wealthiest one per cent of people produce double the carbon emissions of the poorest 50 per cent.

The Corbynista, who represents Leicester East, tweeted: “Earth is overpopulated; there are too many rich people. To solve the climate crisis; the rich must be abolished.”

The former Islington councillor was suspended from the Labour Party in September after being charged with harassing a woman over a period of nearly two years. The 56-year-old denies the accusations and is due to stand trial later this year.

All the same, her unorthodox post about the climate emergency has raised some eyebrows.

“When are you redistributing your wealth?” asked one respondent online. “Your £80,000 a year salary plus expenses firmly puts you in the top one per cent.”

Another asked: “Is this a parody account?”

It is not the first time Ms Webbe – who started her political career as an advisor to then London mayor Ken Livingstone – has been at the centre of controversy.

In February, she found to have breached the MP’s code of conduct after it emerged she had continued to claim – without declaring – a councillor’s allowance of almost £1,000 a month from the Islington authority for more than half a year after becoming an MP 100 miles north in Leicester. She said she made the profitable mistake because of the pressures of coronavirus.

And earlier this month she was widely mocked for a tweet claiming a map showing how European powers carved up colonial Africa in the 19th century had been kept “hidden” from people.

Many pointed out the map was not that well hidden: the scramble for Africa – including the very map Ms Webbe had posted – is taught during Key Stage Three of the national curriculum.

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